RWA Data Sources

Data Sources

The MN Rapid Watershed Assessment Team incorporates the following National, State, County and Local level data in their analysis to produce results at the 8-digit Hydrologic Unit level:
- State and County Political
- NHD 8-Digit Hydrologic Unit
- NLCD Land Cover / Land Use
- Gap Stewardship (Ownership)
- 100K Resolution Stream Data
- USGS Stream Flow Rates
- 303d TMDL Listed Waters
- Common Resource Areas
- Annual Precipitation (30 Year)
- Conservation Treatment
   Practices (PRS)
- US Census Population Data
- Census Block Groups
- NASS Census of Agriculture
- Animal Feed Operations
- Chemical Application Rates
- NRI Soil Loss Estimates
- Threatened and Endangered 
- Level IV Ecoregions
- Farmland Classification
- Hydric Soil Determinations
- Land Capability Classification
- Highly Erodible Land (HEL)
- Drainage Classification
- Digital Elevation Models (DEM)
- Farm Bill Program
- Shaded Relief
- Irrigated Lands
Multi Data Layers

GAP Stewardship (Ownership) Layer – Source: MN Stewardship Data: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Section of Wildlife, BRW, Inc, 2007. This is the complete GAP Stewardship database containing land ownership information for the entire state of Minnesota. Date of source material is variable and ranges from 1976 to 2007, although a date range of 1983 to 1985 predominates. Land interest is expressed only when some organization owns or administers more than 50% of a forty except where DNR could create sub-forty accuracy polygons.

National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) - Originator: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS); Publication date: 19990631; Title: Minnesota Land Cover Data Set, Edition: 1; Geospatial data presentation form: Raster digital data; Publisher: U.S. Geological Survey, Sioux Falls, SD, USA.

USGS 1:100,000 Hydrography Layer .This data set represents all features coded as ‘rivers’ on the USGS 1:100,000-scale DLG Hydrography data set. This current version was converted to ARC/INFO by the Land Management Information Center and edge-matched across map sheet boundaries. Minnesota DNR made further modifications to the files, verified lake feature identifiers, and created a state layer from the separate 100k data. The Hydro 100k layer was compared to MPCA’s 303(d) data to derive percentage of listed waters.

Land Capability Class. ESTIMATES FROM THE 1997 NRI DATABASE (REVISED DECEMBER 2000) REPLACE ALL PREVIOUS REPORTS AND ESTIMATES. Comparisons made using data published for the 1982, 1987, or 1992 NRI may produce erroneous results. This is because of changes in statistical estimation protocols and because all data collected prior to 1997 were simultaneously reviewed (edited) as 1997 NRI data were collected. All definitions are available in the glossary. In addition, this December 2000 revision of the 1997 NRI data updates information released in December 1999 and corrects a computer error discovered in March 2000. For more information:

1997 NRI Irrigated Land Estimates. Irrigated land: Land that shows evidence of being irrigated during the year of the inventory or during two or more years out of the last four years. Water is supplied to crops by ditches, pipes, or other conduits. Water spreading is not considered irrigation; it is recorded as a conservation practice. [NRI-97] For more information:

303(d) Stream and Lake data. Minnesota’s Final Impaired Waters (per Section 303(d) Clean Water Act), 2006. Data obtained from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) helps protect state water by monitoring quality, setting standards and controlling inputs through the development of TMDL plans.

National Coordinated Common Resource Area (CRA) Geographic Database. A Common Resource Area (CRA) map delineation is defined as a geographical area where resource concerns, problems, or treatment needs are similar. It is considered a subdivision of an existing Major Land Resource Area (MLRA) map delineation or polygon. Landscape conditions, soil, climate, human considerations, and other natural resource information are used to determine the geographic boundaries of a Common Resource Area.

Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO) Tabular and spatial data obtained from NRCS Soil Data Mart at Publication dates vary by county. Component and layer tables were linked to the spatial data via SDV 5.1 and ARCGIS 9.1 to derive the soil classifications presented in these examples. Highly Erodible Land Classification Data obtained from USDA/NRCS EFOTG Section II, County Soil Data. HEL classifications were appended to SSURGO spatial data via an ARCEdit session. Addendum and publication dates vary by county.

Lands removed from production through farm bill programs. County enrollment derived from the following: CRP Acres: (7/30/04). CREP Acres: (7/31/03). WRP Acres: NRCS (8/16/04). Data were obtained by county and adjusted by percent of HUC in the county.

Socioeconomic and Agricultural Census Data were taken from the U.S. Population Census, 2000 and 2002 Agricultural Census and adjusted by percent of HUC in the county or by percent of block group area in the HUC, depending on the level of data available. Data were also taken from MPCA AFO/CAFO counts provided by county for 2005.

Unemployment Statistics U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics

NRI Estimates for sheet and rill erosion (WEQ & USLE). The NRI estimates sheet and rill erosion together using the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE). The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) was not used in the 1997 NRI. RUSLE was not available for previous inventories, therefore the use of USLE was continued to preserve the trending capacity of the NRI database. Wind erosion is estimated using the Wind Erosion Equation (WEQ). For more information:

Federally listed endangered and threatened species counts obtained from NRCS Field Office Technical Guide, Section II, Threatened and Endangered List. Essential fish habitat as established by Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Public Law 94-265, as amended through October 11, 1996

Level III and IV Ecoregions. US EPA. Ecoregions denote areas of general similarity in ecosystems and in the type, quality, and quantity of environmental resources; they are designed to serve as a spatial framework for the research, assessment, management, and monitoring of ecosystems and ecosystem components. By recognizing the spatial differences in the capacities and potentials of ecosystems, ecoregions stratify the environment by its probable response to disturbance.  For more information visit: denote

Chemical Application Rates: 2002 Census of Agriculture, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Table 39: Fertilizers and Chemicals Applied 2002 and 1997. Statistics captures at county level and adjusted by percent of HUC occurring within the county.

8 Digit Level Hydrologic Units: Medium Resolution National Hydrography Dataset, U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

24k County Boundary Layer: Minnesota DNR. Minnesota county boundaries derived from a combination of 1:24,000 scale PLS lines, 1:100,000 scale TIGER, 1:100,000 scale DLG, and 1:24,000 scale hydrography lines. At the time of its development (1993), the largest available scale data were assembled to create the layer


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