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Department of Agriculture (MDA)

Minnesota Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan: Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is the lead agency for implementation of this plan.

Minnesota Department of Health

Source Water Protection and Wellhead Protection Plans: Minnesota Department of Health is the lead agency with legislation authority towards drinking water protection in MN. 

Rye cover crop into corn residue

Nutrient Reduction Strategy: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is the lead agency for implementation of this plan.


The Nation’s freshwater supply, shaped by rainfall, snowmelt, runoff and infiltration, is distributed unevenly across the landscape, throughout the seasons, and from year to year. In many areas, concerns are growing about the adequacy of the available ground and surface water supply and the quality of the water to support intended uses.

Agricultural runoff can impact water quality, carrying potential pollutants into the Nation’s streams, lakes, ground water supplies, and estuaries. States and Tribes have identified sediment and nutrients as the most extensive agricultural contaminants affecting surface water quality, while nitrates and agrichemicals are the major concerns for groundwater.

Nitrogen and phosphorus are the primary nutrients that contribute to agricultural nonpoint source pollution. Excessive nitrogen and phosphorus in waterways can cause algal blooms which can lead to the development of hypoxic conditions, or low dissolved oxygen concentrations, unable to sustain aquatic life.

Three Statewide plans have listed action items towards improving MN waters. Agricultural producers feed the world. All citizens working together can improve water quality and quantity levels while sustaining a healthy economic agricultural community in MN. Please consider reading these plans and becoming involved today.


Minnesota Technical Contact

Shannon Carpenter
State Water Quality Specialist


Jason Roth
State Water Management Engineer