The SRWMO is a joint powers special purpose unit of government composed of member communities of Linwood, East Bethel, Columbus and Ham Lake collaborating to manage water resources. This arrangement is based upon the recognition that water-related issues and management rarely stop at municipal boundaries. The SRWMO's boundaries are defined by the West Branch of the Sunrise River's watershed to the West and South Branch of the Sunrise's watershed to the south. To the north and east the boundaries are defined by the Anoka County boundary. It does not extend into other counties because watershed organizations are only required by law within twin cities metropolitan counties.
The SRWMO is involved in many aspects of water management including planning and regulation, water quality, flooding, shoreland management, recreation, wildlife, and erosion control. The WMO has a state-approved watershed management plan which outlines their policies and plan of work. Cities' and townships' local water management plans must be consistent with the WMO's plan. The SRWMO Board does not have employees. Instead, it works through cooperative efforts of the member cities and townships, or contracts with the Anoka Conservation District or other consultants.
In spring 2018 the SRWMO began an update of its Watershed Management Plan. This plan is valid for 10-years. It sets priorities, measurable goals, a schedule of work, and expected expenditures. The expected completion of the new plan is December 2019. To learn more or provide input, please visit our Watershed Plan page.
Recent and upcoming plan milestones:
July 9, 2019 the SRWMO completed a 60-day agency review period of its draft plan.
July 18, 2019 during the scheduled SRWMO meeting at 6:30pm the SRWMO will consider draft responses to agency comments. Final comments will likely be sent out and posted to this website the following day.
August 1, 2019public hearing regarding the draft plan at 6:30pm at East Bethel City Hall. Anyone is invited to attend to provide input or suggested revisions before the plan is sent to the State Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) for final approvals.
December 5, 2019 SRWMO will hear any final (BWSR) comments and consider plan adoption.