Sauk Rapids/St. Cloud Area Waters - What We Do

DNR Waters - Sauk Rapids Area Office

The Sauk Rapids Area Office houses two area hydrologist positions that service a four county area including Benton, Stearns, Sherburne and Wright Counties. The office is centrally located relative to this work area and is within the St. Cloud metropolitan area. The services provided by DNR Water's staff are multifaceted with the intent being to help people to ensure the future of our states waters resources. The clientele served by these positions can generally be characterized as anyone who is effected by Minnesota's water resources or is involved in its use or management.

The work area covered includes a total of more than 40 major municipalities and a land area that exceeds 1.8 million acres and a population greater than 320,000 (2000 census data). Water resources within the work area include 775 lakes greater than 10 acres, 788 wetlands, significant groundwater aquifers, trout streams, and miles of streams and rivers, including the Mississippi River, which is also designated as a Wild and Scenic river from St. Cloud to Anoka.

DNR Waters core functions relating to our mission include regulating activities that affect public waters of the state, collecting, maintaining and interpretation of water resource data, and providing support to local units of government on water management issues. All of which serve to protect the public's safety and welfare.

More specifically the core functions can be broken down to include the following:

Permitting Public Water and Appropriation - For all projects affecting public waters of the state including bridges, excavation within the beds of public waters, sand blankets, etc. and also all appropriation of both surface and groundwater for municipal use, construction dewatering, agricultural irrigation, etc.

Water Resources Data/Technical Analysis - Including stream discharge monitoring and assessment, groundwater monitoring, well interference investigation and analysis, lake level and climatology database etc.

Community/County Ordinance Administration - Shoreland, floodplain, and wild and scenic ordinance standards. DNR Waters provides interpretation of the standards and also technical support on resource issues affected by the planning and development process.

These and other services as mentioned are provided to numerous public and private entities including; lake associations, lake improvement districts, municipal and county water planners, watershed districts, county and municipal planning and zoning staff, swcd's, township and county boards, etc. A specific challenge of the area office is providing these services to a population base that is growing rapidly, which in-turn places significant pressure on local resources.