Minnesota has one of the most extensive artificial drainage systems on the face of the earth. A network of public and private surface drainage ditches and subsurface drainage tiles covers about two-thirds of the state.The reality is that this drainage system is as much a part of our infrastructure as is our road system.
Over the past year, MCEA has participated in a technical group that developed a set of recommendations for water managers to use as they consider tile drainage in the Red River Basin.
Unlike much of Minnesota’s agriculture land, most of the Red River basin has not been drained with subsurface drainage tile yet, but tile drainage is increasing due to high land values and crop prices. Water managers in the Red River basin have a unique opportunity to implement reasonable strategies to minimize the potential for new tile drainage to increase flood damages. The paper (below) outlines a series of water management options for water managers to use to reduce the risks of tile drainage to increase flood damages. We are hopeful that future work by the technical group will investigate the water quality implications of tile drainage in the basin and make recommendations to reduce water quality impacts.
Read the Basin Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee's Water Management Options for Subsurface Drainage Briefing paper here.
Board of Water and Soil Resources - Drainage Management Team
Kittson County Drainage Factsheet