The Benton County Comprehensive Local Water Management Plan sets a course for water and land resource management activities that Benton County will pursue in the next 10 years.
The plan focuses on specific issues that have been identified locally and how Benton County plans to address them. Three priority concerns have been identified in the plan: Development, Feedlot and Nutrient Management, and Groundwater Quality and Quantity.
In 1977 Minnesota was stricken by drought conditions that nearly rivaled the infamous drought of the 1930s. That crisis prompted the Legislature to look at how the state’s water supplies were being managed. They saw fragmentation at the state level and disorganization at the local level. The Legislature responded by passing the Comprehensive Local Water Management Act (Minnesota Statutes sections 103B.301 to 103B.355) in 1985. The act encourages counties outside of the metropolitan area to develop and implement comprehensive water plans. Local ownership is the hallmark of the program. While the plans are voluntary, counties that participate in the program are awarded base grants from the State based on the tax capacity of the county.
The plan was developed by the Benton County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Water Resources Advisory Committee. The Benton Soil and Water Conservation District is an independent local unit of government that manages and directs natural resource management programs locally. The District works with landowners in both rural and urban settings to carry out a program for the conservation, use, and development of soil, water, and related resources.