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Welcome to the Yellow Medicine River Watershed District

The Yellow Medicine River Watershed District (YMRWD) is a local unit of government established on August 27, 1971 through a petition of its residents to the MN Board of Water and Soil Resources. The jurisdiction of the organization covers 685 square miles in southwestern Minnesota that drain to the Yellow Medicine River in Lincoln (39%), Lyon (23%), and Yellow Medicine (38%) counties. County Commissioners appoint representatives to a 5-member board of managers that direct and oversee activities of the District. The District currently employs one staff person, so it is best to call ahead before planning a visit to the office.

The District has three core functions:

  1. Manage public drainage by serving as the drainage authority for public ditch systems.
  2. Manage private drainage activities through a permit system backed by district rules and regulations.
  3. Work with local partners to implement activities defined in the Yellow Medicine One Watershed One Plan that work on the following three goals:
    • a. Reduce the potential for flooding by mitigating the impacts created from altering natural drainage patterns.  
    • b. Reduce the transport of pollutants into our surface water (primarily excess sediment, nutrients, and bacteria).
    • c. Protect and preserve groundwater quantity and quality.

To review the One Watershed One Plan in its entirety, click on the link below.