The Two Rivers Watershed District was formed in order to accomplish several goals. Since its inception, the District has undertaken several projects in order to meet these goals. Projects were completed in conjunction with Soil Conservation Service (now known as Natural Resources Conservation Service, or NRCS) and Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to address flood control and wildlife concerns. These projects were extremely effective in carrying out their intended purposes, and they were also very effective in controlling erosion.
One area that has been lacking over the years is in the area of water quality. Historically there is a lack of long-term data available for the Two Rivers. As times have changed, the focus of watershed district has also changed to concentrate on water quality and wildlife concerns. Agencies are beginning to work together more closely to accomplish their shared long-term goals. Therefore, a water quality initiative was undertaken beginning in 1991 to study the river system by monitoring long-term trends and collecting base line water quality data. This study is giving the Managers the data they need to make informed decisions and make policy.
The Two Rivers Watershed District, in its first Overall Plan revision, identified 25 initiatives that were proposed as solutions to water management problems within the District at that time. These solutions were categorized as flood control and prevention, flood plain and channel improvement, ag water management, reforestation and wind erosion protection, wildlife, maintenance of structures, pollution control, and groundwater.
In 1981, the District adopted a set of Rules, which governed projects in the District that affected the water resources. These Rules were updated and amended on June 5, 1997. The amended Rules of the Two Rivers Watershed District require that a permit be granted for any projects that involve ditching, diking, draining, road building, culvert installation or alteration, or any other works which alter the drainage patterns or water quality within the District.
The Two Rivers Watershed District currently has ongoing investigations dealing with water quality and water quantity. The District is actively involved with flood control initiatives, water quality studies, educational initiatives, drainage ditch management, culvert inventories, and other water management activities. These programs and monitoring activities provide the Board of Managers with the data and information they need to make informed decisions regarding the water resources of the District.
General policy of the District as stated in its 1970 Overall Plan is as follows. These general policies continue to be followed by the Board of Managers today:
- To cooperate with and utilize all help available from any state or governmental subdivision thereof; from any Federal agency; private or public corporation or person. When considered desirable, the Managers of the Watershed District shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with said agencies and subdivisions of government.
- The Managers shall become acquainted with all existing water problems and programs and shall secure maximum assistance so as to reduce the assessments on local lands.
- All projects, which are to be paid by assessment upon benefited properties, shall be instituted only upon filing of a valid petition with the Managers. The Managers shall not approve a petition for work unless the following facts are found to exist:
- That the proposed improvements are for public interest and welfare as defined by the Minnesota Watershed Act;
- That it is practical and in conformity with this Overall Plan;
- That the total benefits are greater than the total estimated costs and damages;
- That the proposed project is in compliance with the provisions and purposes of the Minnesota Watershed Act.
The existing purpose and goals of the District are in conformance with the above policies and are outlined in MS 103D.201 Subd. 2.