Darrick Wotachek, Isanti County zoning wetland specialist and water planner, presented an update of the 2018-2028 Isanti County Local Water Management Plan during a public hearing held Feb. 21 during the Isanti County Board meeting. 

“I’d like to start off with a quote by our famous President Abraham Lincoln, ‘The land, the earth God gave to man for his home, should never be the possession of any man, corporation or society any more than the air or water. Laws change, people die; the land and the water remains,’” Wotachek said.

Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes.

“There are actually 11,842 lakes in Minnesota over 10 acres and 6,564 rivers and streams,” Wotachek said. “We have shallow ground aquifers that many of these wetland complexes are connected to and it’s considered a major recharge area for the Mount Simon aquifer, which is a main concern.”

According to Wotachek, 11 lakes and five streams are impaired in Isanti County, with the Rum River being 2 percent from the impaired status.

“With sufficient protections standards and efforts moving forward, we will hopefully keep the Rum River from being in the impaired status,” Wotachek said.

Priority concerns with the water plan include:

• Protect groundwater resources.

• Protection and restoration of surface water quality and quantity.

• Promote beneficial land use management practices.

• Aquatic invasive species prevention and management.

• Ditches and drainage management.

“The population of Isanti County is increasing and is projected to increase by 30 percent in the next 30 years,” Wotacheck said. “Reasons we need to be concerned with this is increases in population comes higher development, increased impervious surfaces, land use conversions and other potential issues with water quality.”

Wotachek gave a brief summary of the water management plan.

“The Isanti County water plan is to identify our existing and potential water resource issues, create an implementation strategy for the protection and foster positive land uses within our county and sustainable development that is respectful of our water resources,” Wotacheck said.

The board thanked Wotachek along with everyone from the Isanti County Soil and Water Conservation District for working countless hours on the water management plan.

“A job done well by all,” Commissioner Greg Anderson said. “Looking forward to the final product in the next couple of months.”

For more information on the Isanti County Water Management Plan, visit http://bit.ly/2CJfjoi.

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