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Can the private sector inform the government in water resources management? one watershed-one plan: a new approach to watershed management

International Journal of Hydrology
Elizabeth Henley,1 Joe Magner,2 Karlyn Eckman,3 Dean Current,4 Louis Smith5

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Minnesota, USA has developed a watershed management approach called One Watershed One Plan (1W1P). 1W1P is a statewide program that seeks to manage water along natural boundaries, defined by hydrologic unit code 8 (HUC-8) watersheds. Historically, Minnesota relied upon each county to develop their own water management plan. State funding through the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) was allocated based on proposed project applications sent to a review committee which then decided which project in a given county would get funding. This approach provided a vehicle for transferring state tax money back to the local government but failed to really solve transcounty, integrated water management problems. To solve both water quality and quantity issues a more focused approach with a larger payload of funding for a longer period of time was needed. Government alone cannot solve intrinsic water issues because most Minnesota landownership is private. In this paper we discuss how the private sector must be engaged up front in the water planning process for successful water management. We illustrate how public-private partnerships are essential for better water planning and management. 1W1P has now developed across Minnesota allowing for better targeting and prioritization of local water issues.


public-private partnership, water resources management, water resources planning, one watershed-one plan