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Implementing a Multi-Purpose Drainage Management Plan

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2016 10th International Drainage Symposium Conference, 6-9 September 2016, Minneapolis, Minnesota  .(doi:10.13031/IDS.20162493344)
Authors:   Chuck Brandel
Keywords:   Agriculture, best management practices, ditch, drainage, drainage authority, nitrogen, nutrients, peak flow, phosphorus, quality, reduction, sediment, storage, total suspended solids, two-stage ditch, water quality.

Abstract. Multi-purpose drainage management (MDM) plans incorporate a combination of best management practices (BMPs) in order to have the most significant impact on crop production, wildlife habitat, and water quality. The plans are divided into three categories of BMP‘s, Preventative, Control, and Treatment Measures. Existing MDM plans for Martin County and Blue Earth County, Minnesota serve as examples on how creative coordination has provided the ability to move forward with implementation on a watershed scale. Once MDM plans are developed, implementing them is challenging due to the number of landowners, agencies, regulations, funding sources, and other requirements that need to be coordinated. How can engineers and advocates work together with drainage authorities and land owners to get MDM plans implemented? Success often starts with listening to the needs of landowners to develop trust, opening lines of communication between parties, and building a cohesive group with a common goal for drainage improvement with an added benefit of improved water quality and wildlife habitat.

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