EarthWorks Geospatial Catalog

Watershed Management Organizations

This dataset depicts watershed district and watershed management organization boundaries within the seven county Twin Cities metropolitan area. The geography and some of the attributes were taken directly from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) state wide dataset in August of 2003. Additional attributes have been added to match the older Metropolitan Council WMO dataset, and additional data. A watershed district (WD) is a special governmental unit created through a local petition process to address any of a number of possible water management issues (e.g. flood control, stream channel improvements, water conservation, drainage system management, sediment control, riparian area management, water quality protection and enhancement, etc.). Minnesota Statute Chapter 103D governs the formation and operation of watershed districts. A watershed management organization (WMO) is defined as a watershed district wholly within the seven-county, Twin Cities Metropolitan Area or a joint powers entity established wholly or partly in the metropolitan area by special law or agreement to perform some or all of the functions of a watershed district. Minnesota Statute Chapter 103B governs the formation and operation of watershed management organizations. NOTES: - MANY BOUNDARY DISCREPANCIES EXIST WITH THIS DATA SET. See Lineage in Section 2 of this metadata for more details. - This layer is based on BWSR's most current information on watershed districts and WMOs in the State of MN. The dataset is NOT error free, and boundaries are frequently being updated and changed, so these should be used for reference only. It was last updated in August 2003. - Amendmends were made to the BWSR data upon consultation of several WMO plans and the Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts Guidebook ( - Water planning is either the responsibility of a watershed district or a water management org. If neither of these exist, then responsibility falls onto the county. For a more precise boundary determination, check with the BWSR board conservationist for the area in question. - The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources distributes a state wide WMO and WD dataset. The BWSR dataset is distributed on the DNR's Data Deli and can be found at - WMO boundaries that are coincident with county or municipal boundaries within this dataset do not match the county and municipal boundaries within the Metropolitan Council's County_ctu dataset.
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