Capital Improvement Projects

The Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Organization (VRWJPO) invests in capital improvement projects that protect or improve water resources. The VRWJPO will lead implementation efforts to accomplish specific projects in the Watershed Plan.

The VRWJPO has received several grants to implement large-scale projects funded through the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment approved by Minnesota voters in 2008. These projects have been implemented using Clean Water Fund grants, administered by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) and Conservation Partners Legacy grants, administered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource. Projects, both completed and in progress, funded through the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment, include:

The VRWJPO and City of Lakeville are collaboratively implementing a program to performed irrigation system audits at townhome and homeowner associations to identify ways to improve water efficiency, decrease groundwater use, and potentially reduce water bills.

Excessive groundwater use within the watershed affects the amount of groundwater available for residential, business/industrial, and agricultural uses. Excessive groundwater usage also impacts aquatic organisms and habitat within the watershed. A growing population will increase the demand for groundwater and the infrastructure needed to supply it to watershed residents. To achieve the VRWJPO Watershed Plan’s goal of maintaining a sustainable water supply, projects that conserve water are needed to ensure adequate water supply for the growing population.

Lawn maintenance and landscaping are the most consistent discretionary water uses in urban settings. By performing irrigation system audits, the VRWJPO and City of Lakeville staff will use recommendations to help associations achieve significant water savings, which will result in reduced costs and a sustainable water supply.

The program will provide irrigation system audits at a subsidized rate of $50 per association. After an audit has been completed, the associations are eligible for 75 percent cost share, up to a maximum of $1,500 per association for EPA WaterSense improvements, and 25 percent cost share, up to a maximum of $500 per association for non-EPA WaterSense improvements. The installation or implementation of recommended improvements must be identified in the irrigation audit and must result in significant water savings.

The VRWJPO also partners with stakeholders to implement projects of mutual interest and watershed-wide benefits. Capital improvement projects that restore or protect the watershed’s natural resources are eligible for VRWJPO funding.

A competitive application process will determine which projects will get funded and how much funding will be provided. Complete an application.

All completed capital improvement projects installed with VRWJPO funds are identified on an interactive map. Stars represent specific projects and are linked to a fact sheet or project photographs. The map allows landowners interested in Capital Improvement Project technical or financial assistance to see what types of projects the VRWJPO funds, the cost of similar projects, and the environmental benefits the project provided.