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A combination of accelerated urban development and the fact that the 1990s has been the wettest decade for the area this century, have lead to higher water levels on Prior Lake and flooding in 1998 and 1999. This flooding in turn has lead to intense pressure by citizens and the local city to enlarge the outlet system on Prior Lake.

This paper presents how the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed Districts' (PLSLWD) Board of Managers resisted the temptation to push the problem downstream with a larger outlet and have decided to manage the water “within the District.” The resulting program called the Land Management Program represents the first attempt by a Minnesota based Watershed Organization to manage land rather than just regulate. A key element enabling this program and the main topic of the paper was a survey of Voter Attitudes On Flooding and Open Space. This survey was completed with assistance from the Trust for Public Land.

Results of the survey showed that once alternatives are explained, voters overwhelmingly support the Managers' decision to manage water within the District. This was largely due to recognition of the secondary benefits to water quality and open space preservation from this alternative. Furthermore, a majority of surveyed voters supported increasing their taxes an additional 15 per household per year to pay for this program.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2000

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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