GIS Runoff and Sediment-Based Ditch System Charge Method Developed

The International Water Institute recently completed a project for the MN Board of Soil and Water Resources Drainage Work Group that developed a practical, transparent, science-based, and cost-effective prototype Geographic Information System (GIS) method for application by a drainage authority to charge costs of drainage system maintenance and/or repair to contributing parcels based on their relative contribution of runoff and sediment to a drainage system.

Runoff volume and sediment contribution are primary factors affecting maintenance and/or repair costs of agricultural drainage systems; therefore, this prototype GIS method focuses on apportioning repair and/or maintenance costs based on relative runoff volume and relative sediment delivery to the drainage system. The GIS method enables use of relative weighting of these factors, depending on the type of drainage system repair or maintenance.

The GIS prototype results were compared to assessments based on traditional benefits-based viewing methods. Three agricultural drainage systems in different areas of the primary drained landscapes of Minnesota were used for the comparison.

More information can be found HERE or by contacting Charles Fritz, Director, International Water Institute – 701.388.0861/charles@iwinst.org