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Permit FAQs

What legal authority does the District have to implement rules?

State law requires the District to establish water-resource protection standards, then adopt rules and operate a permitting program to help meet the standards. Under Minnesota Statutes section 103D.341, subdivision 1, watershed districts must adopt rules “to accomplish the purposes of [the watershed act] and to implement the powers of the [watershed district] managers.” These purposes include, among others, conservation of water for public uses; controlling erosion and siltation of lakes, streams and wetlands; and protecting water quality in these bodies.

District managers are further authorized to regulate and control the use of water within the watershed district, regulate the use of streams and watercourses to prevent pollution, and regulate the use and development of land in collaboration with municipalities in the watershed. 

Do these rules duplicate local authorities' and state agencies' water resource protection efforts?

No, the District will work with its municipal partners and state agencies to avoid duplication of efforts.  For example, the District is seeking a general permit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) so that projects triggering DNR permits and District permits could be permitted by the watershed district.

Why is it important for the District to have rules?

Our water resources our pressured every day with land and water disturbing activities.  The rules are one way for the District to ensure conservation of water for public uses, control erosion and siltation of lakes, streams and wetlands, and protect water quality in these water bodies. 

What rules does my project trigger?

If you have questions about what rules might apply to your project, contact Mat Nicklay at or 952-607-6512 extension 7.

Are there other regulations that might apply?

Projects that impact Minnesota’s water resources are regulated by a variety of state, local, and federal agencies. Check out this useful tool from the MN Department of Natural Resources to help identify other organizations you might need a permit from: Water Related Program Contact.