Text Image: Yellow Medicine River Watershed District Scenic Photo of River

Yellow Medicine River Watershed District | 122 N. Jefferson St. | PO Box 267 | Minneota, MN 56264 | 507-872-6720 | admin@ymrwd.org

© 2017 Yellow Medicine River Watershed District

BWSR Grant for Terrain Analysis Assessment


The Yellow Medicine River Watershed District (YMRWD) received an “Accelerated Implementation Grant” from the Board of Soil and Water Resources in 2014 to identify sensitive areas in the watershed that would benefit from additional conservation practices. The District hired the Water Resources Center at Minnesota State University, Mankato to complete the work. Total expenditures were $110,764 and the YMRWD provided a 25% local match.


In order to identify the best locations for conservation practices, a good elevation model was needed. We started with LiDAR data collected during a flight over the watershed and then manually added culverts into the data set. Adding the culverts in allowed the computer to know where water was moving across the landscape. If you don’t add the culverts in, it thinks water can’t get across the road. Once this step was completed, terrain analysis software was used to determine how much flow was accumulating or ponding up in any given area. This was beneficial since you are likely to start seeing erosion in areas where flow accumulation reaches a certain threshold. Highly erodible and bare land are particularly vulnerable. These areas may benefit from practices like water and sediment control basins or grassed waterways. In contract, when water gets stuck in depressional areas, these may be good locations for wetland restorations. Upon completion of the work in December 2016, maps were created for every section of land in the watershed that illustrate the potential and locations for various conservation practices. If you are interested in seeing the maps, please contact our office. We are working to make the information available online soon.


Grant Report

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