Water Planning in Itasca County
Water Planning in Itasca County is done by the Water Plan Implimentation Committee (WPIC), appointed by the Itasca County Board.
There are 12 positions on the WPIC board, including representatives from the 5 Commissioner Districts, plus a seat for ICOLA, the SWCD Board, the Township Association, the Planning Commission, a representative from the Conservation Organizations, At Large, and an At Large Water-Oriented Bussness in Itasca County. (This last position is presently unfilled).
WPIC meets every-other month on the Second Tuesday at the offices of the Soil and Water Conservation District.
Topics and issues for discussion range large from septic inspection triggers, to chloride pollution of the waters from road salt (summer and winter) and water softeners, and much more. The Committee oversees the SWCD Programs such as water quality management and testing, shoreland issues, wetlands, Aquatic Invasive Species management (AIS), ground water, forestry, wildlife and fisheries, aggriculture, youth education.
Presently, the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) has recommended that water management in Itasca County and Minnesota be done not from an inner-county approach, but from each of the major watersheds in Minnesota. This new strategy is called One Watershed / One Plan (1W1P). This will require cooperation among those counties.
One Watershed / One Plan information page on the Mn Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) website:
https://bwsr.state.mn.us/one-watershed-one-plans that share a watershed.
Itasca County has 6 major watersheds (HUC 8 scale) within its borders: Upper Mississippi Headwaters, Upper Mississippi Grand Rapids, Big Fork River, Red Lake, Little Fork River and St. Louis River. The first three have a major presence in Itasca County. There are 80 major watersheds in Minnesota.
The Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies program (WRAPS), organized by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, togerhter with the DNR and BWSR, will continue their assessment with projects, concerns, resources, public meetings for prioritization.
During the conversion to 1W / 1P1, WPIC has be granted a deadline extension from /29/19 through 3/31/2022 for the Itasca water plan. The recently approved Plan Extension can be seen here:
Here are links to the Minutes from recent WPIC meetings: