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Districtwide Water Reuse Planning

Districtwide Water Reuse Planning
Districtwide Water Reuse Planning

Location:  Blaine, MN
Client:  Rice Creek Watershed District


The Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD) received a grant from the Board of Water and Resources (BWSR) to identify potential locations for stormwater reuse and irrigation projects. The goal of the project was to reduce reliance on groundwater while saving money on water use, improving water storage, and mitigating flooding. 

In November 2015, HEI began working with the RCWD to identify potential reuse project locations and drinking water supply management areas in the District. 

The Project

HEI developed a multi-phase project to identify potential reuse project locations. In the first phase, HEI created and performed an assessment methodology on several locations within the District. The assessment identified potential project locations by applying planning criteria to areas in the District and then added geospatial data to the planning criteria to refine the results. The locations are categorized to show which sites have the most potential for achieving project goals. 

HEI delivered the location rankings to the RCWD as a decision tool for locations to perform field visits and reviews. The 10 locations chosen by the RCWD included golf courses, federal property, school properties, and commercial zones. Areas that were listed as agricultural use were eliminated due to their essential need for irrigation. As the majority of the locations are owned by private organizations, landowner cooperation was vital to the project’s success.

Based on information gathered from field visits, sizing and cost estimates were generated for each site, which represented a good opportunity for future reuse projects under goals of the assessment.

Completion of each phase within this project included a technical memorandum that was delivered to the RCWD to review. The memorandum outlined how the assessment geospatial methodology is applied to determine the best locations that may deliver the District’s desired outcomes. The project’s final phase included the delivery of a final report.

The project was completed in November, 2016. HEI developed and implemented a how-to workshop for potential users of the assessment methodology. 

Client Benefits

  • Ability to target specific locations that will have greatest impact.
  • Arms planners and decision-makers with information about where to consider reuse projects for future implementation, based on local resource goals.
  • Provided framework for reducing reliance on groundwater for non-essential or recreational irrigation.