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Watershed Management Plan Process

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) is updating its Watershed Management Plan (Plan) as part of its ongoing commitment to water quality issues throughout the watershed.  Required by law to set the District's goals and guide its activities, the current Plan was adopted in 2007, with the next generation Plan due at the end of 2017. 

Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Watershed Management Plan January 11, 2018 MCWD logoDraft Plan Approved

We have finished updating the 10-year Watershed Management Plan (Plan). MCWD's 2017 Plan builds upon the previous plan's extensive technical understanding of the watershed's resources, now emphasizing collaboration with communities to align water resource goals with local land use goals. The Plan establishes clear priorities to focus the District's work, while providing the flexibility to respond to needs and opportunities identified in real time. Please see below for more information on the goals of the Plan and the plan development process.

The draft Plan was distributed to cities and townships, counties, state review agencies, lake associations, and other stakeholders (see distribution list) for a 60-day review and comment period that ended on September 5, 2017. Click on the following links to review the comment letters and District responses. A public hearing was held on October 12, 2017 to solicit further input. The Plan has been approved by the Board of Water and Soil Resources and is scheduled to be adopted by the MCWD Board on January 11, 2018.

If you have questions on the draft Plan, please send them to Becky Christopher at



Sunset over a lakeDeveloping the District's 2007 Plan involved extensive analysis of the watershed and a robust stakeholder engagement process to set long-term goals. The 2017 Plan update will build on this strong foundation and focus primarily on developing policies and processes to improve service delivery and project implementation. The District's 2017 Watershed Management Plan will emphasize collaboration with the communities of the watershed to align water resource priorities and local land use goals. The process to develop this partnership-based approach included community guidance through committees, events, publications, and special meetings.

In Pursuit of a Balanced Urban Ecology

Recognizing the relationship between our natural and built environments, the MCWD works in partnership with the public, private and civic sectors to help protect and improve our natural systems, make wise investments in public infrastructure and improve the quality of water and quality of life in our communities. The District pursues this work under three guidelines:

  • Partnership - We will join with others in pursuing our watershed management goals 
  • Focus - We will intensify and maintain our focus on high-priority projects 
  • Flexibility – We will be flexible and creative in adapting our practices to those of our partners 

We produced the publication below to highlight the philosophies and process behind developing the Plan. Read through or click here to view the publication as full screen. You may also download the preview document as a PDF.

Plan Development Process

The draft Plan has been developed with input from its municipalities, counties, agencies, lake associations, and other interested stakeholders. Opportunities for engagement through the Plan development process have included:

  • Subwatershed meetingKickoff meetings - three kickoff meetings to outline the scope and objectives of the Plan update and solicit participation in the process
  • Information request - request for information on local water management issues, goals, and priorities from state agencies, cities, counties, and others
  • Advisory Committees - regular meetings with Policy and Technical Advisory Committees made up of self-selected representatives from the cities, counties, and state and regional agencies, as well as the District's Citizen Advisory Committee, to discuss the Plan approach and partnership framework (see below for meeting minutes and materials)
  • Subwatershed meetings – a series of meetings with technical staff, policy makers, and citizen groups to gather input on local issues, priorities, and plans
  • Events – other targeted events including the NEMO Boat Tour for policy makers and the Planner's Breakfast for municipal land use planners
  • Publications, website, and social media - distribution of other information and updates at key milestones in the process


February 2015 – Kickoff Meetings
Early 2015 – Public opinion survey
2015-2016 – Bi-monthly advisory committee meetings
Late 2016 – Local subwatershed meetings
Mid 2017 – Formal review process begins
December 2017 – Deadline for Plan adoption

Advisory Committee Meeting Materials

Policy Advisory Committee:

Technical Advisory Committee:

Citizens Advisory Committee:


Direct questions to MCWD Lead Planner Becky Christopher: or 952-641-4512.