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Weather - Extreme Trends

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed Stormwater Adaptation Study

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Extreme weather meetingMinnesota has been hit by a number of "Mega Rain" events during the last 30 years. In fact, extreme weather events are increasing in frequency across the country, with some of the largest increases in the Upper Midwest.

Preparing to manage the risks of these extreme rain events requires that our communities understand their vulnerabilities and capacity to adapt, both from a technical and social standpoint. To demonstrate this process, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District partnered on a study with Syntectic International, Antioch University New England, the University of Minnesota and two communities in the Twin Cities area – Minneapolis and Victoria.

Funded by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Program Office, the study had two overarching goals: assess vulnerability to both land use and rainfall changes, and build capacity to support community adaptation. This was done through both climate and hydrologic modeling and a community-driven planning process in which technical assessments of impacts were incorporated into collaborative planning to understand opportunities and barriers for adaptation.


"High water": Video highlighting 2014 spring flooding