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Minnesota has a long history of water management by local government. One Watershed, One Plan is rooted in this history and in work initiated by the Local Government Water Roundtable (Association of Minnesota Counties, Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts, and Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts) in 2011. It was recommended that the local governments charged with water management responsibility should organize and develop focused implementation plans on a watershed scale. The recommendation was followed by legislation that permits BWSR to adopt methods to allow comprehensive plans, local water management plans, or watershed management plans to serve as substitutes for one another; or to be replaced with one comprehensive watershed management plan. This legislation is referred to as One Watershed, One Plan. Further Legislation was passed in 2015, defining purposes and outlining additional structure.

BWSR’s vision for One Watershed, One Plan is to align local water planning on major watershed boundaries with state strategies towards prioritized, targeted and measurable implementation plans – the next logical step in the evolution of water planning in Minnesota.


The LGUs within the Lake of the Woods One Watershed One Plan (LOW 1W1P) area include Lake of the Woods County, Lake of the Woods SWCD, Warroad River Watershed District, Roseau County and Roseau SWCD. The Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan allows participating LGUs to align local water planning efforts along a uniform watershed boundary and ultimately result in more efficient resource management.

After the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources approved the newly developed plan in the fall of 2019, each of the LGUs adopted the plan by the end of 2019. Each LGU also signed a Joint Powers Agreement for entity establishment to carry out implementation of the plan. 

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