Watershed Districts and Water Managements Organizations


Watershed Districts are established by petition to the Water Resources Board, pursuant to State Statute Chapter 103D, Watershed Districts. Its purpose is to carry out conservation of the natural resources of the state through land utilization, flood control and other needs based upon sound scientific principles for the protection of the public health and welfare and provident use of natural resources.

Watershed districts may be established for any or all of the following conservation purposes: 

  • Control or alleviation of damage by flood waters.
  • Improvement of stream channels for drainage or navigation.
  • Reclaiming or filling wet or overflow lands.
  • Water supply for irrigation.
  • Regulation of the flow of streams.
  • Divert or changing water courses.
  • Provide and conserving water supply.
  • Provide for the protection of ground water and regulating groundwater use.
  • Preserve ground water for beneficial use
  • Other purposes as set forth in state statute.

Procedure for appointment

The appointment process as stated in Minnesota Chapter 103D.311 provides that County Commissioners must select district managers from a list of nominees "submitted jointly or severally" by the municipalities that are wholly or partially in the watershed district. Such a list must be submitted to the County at least 60 days prior to the expiration of term of office of a manager. If no list is submitted, the County Board may then appoint a manager through its open appointment process.

No person shall be appointed who is not a voting resident of the watershed district and none shall be a public officer of the county, state or federal government, provided that a soil and water conservation supervisor may be appointed as manager.

A record of all watershed district manager appointments shall be filed with the County Auditor, Secretary of the Watershed District Board of Managers, and Board of Water and Soil Resources.

Member terms

Watershed terms are for three years. Watershed terms begin on the day of the month on which the district was established.

Location of watersheds in Washington County

Watershed districts located either partially or wholly within Washington County are as follows: