DNR Geospatial Water Resources Team (GeoWRT)

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Geospatial Water Resources Team (GeoWRT) is an interdisciplinary team of data stewards and natural resource professionals from both the DNR and DNR Information Services with subject matter expertise in water resources, hydrologic modeling, web tool development, and advanced GIS technology. The team develops and maintains Minnesota’s foundational geospatial hydrography datasets and tools used in products and services that help resource professionals throughout the state with planning, management, and protection activities associated with water. Additionally, the team provides outreach and education to help DNR customers and GIS end users successfully apply geospatial hydrography in their projects by optimizing project parameters and understanding realistic expectations of the data.

Purpose Statement

The geospatial water resources team (GeoWRT) will strategically manage the DNR’s foundational hydrography data portfolio so it is trustworthy, current, consistent, integrated, accessible, and understandable to the DNR, other agencies, and to the public.

Charter, Work Plan, and Membership

Authoritative datasets we develop and manage

  • DNR Hydrography Dataset (DHD) – Centralized database containing master versions of DNR hydrographic spatial features. These feature classes are used to derive other DNR products.
    • Open water basins (polygons) – Surface water extent as depicted on aerial photography for lakes, ponds, wetlands, river polygons, mine pits, artificial ponds, drained lakebeds, etc.
    • Public Water basins (polygons) – Regulatory extent of Public Waters Inventory (PWI) basins. This is based on an ordinary high water level (OHWL). The open water depiction of the same basin should spatially nest within the PWI delineation.
    • Watercourse routes (lines) – Streams, rivers and ditches as single features with river mile measures.
    • Watersheds (polygons) – DNR Level 8 catchments and all derived Minnesota watershed levels and Federal watersheds managed by the US Geological Survey’s Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD).
    • Hydrologic Points of Interest-HPOI (points) – Watershed pour points, water control structures, dams, culverts, barriers, etc.
    • Digital Dam Breachlines (lines) – In development (might be too early to list this, but gives it a placeholder/recognition for future.
  • Lidar–Minnesota's Digital Elevation Project
  • Minnesota Wetland Inventory

Programs, Tools, and Applications we develop and manage