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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Water Resources Board

Active dates:1955-1987

Counsels with existing agencies to promote the systematic administration of water policy in Minnesota, and to coordinate and accelerate conservation activities.


The Water Resources Board was created by the legislature in 1955 (Laws 1955 c664). The board may be petitioned by the governor, a state or federal agency, or any affected party to intervene in conflicts over interpretation of state water policy. If the board determines that the petition presents an important water policy question, it consents to intervene and conducts a public hearing. Based on evidence presented at the hearing, the board determines state water policy and makes recommendations to the affected agencies. It also approves metropolitan surface water management plans, and administers the Minnesota Watershed Act (Laws 1955 c799). The board has jurisdiction over the establishment of watershed districts, which are special purpose governments that manage water resources within the drainage basin of lakes or river systems. Districts are authorized to construct improvement projects, make assessments, levy taxes, acquire property by eminent domain, and regulate activities that affect the district's water resources. The board provides districts with general advice and assistance, approves district overall plans, hears appeals to district orders, and approves any changes in district boundaries.

In 1987 the Legislature combined the Soil and Water Conservation Board with two other organizations with local government and natural resources ties, the Water Resources Board and the Southern Minnesota Rivers Basin Council to form the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources.


5 members; four-year terms; appointed by the governor.; Members of the board:; Russell Youngren, 1955-1965; George E. Buscher, 1955-1960; John Daley, 1955-1961; Herbert E. Wright, 1955-1960; Charles Horn, 1955-1965; George Loughland, 1959-1968; Clinton Haroldson, 1959-1960; Alvin Payne, 1961-1972; Rector H. Putnam, 1963-1975; Richard G. Canning, 1967-1975; Harold Macy, 1967-1973; Charles H. Prior, 1969-1974; George P. Grussing, 1971-1973; Robert T. Moline, 1975-1978; David Von Holtum, 1975-1977; Richard Pfallinger, 1975-1980; F. Robert Starr, 1975-1977; Duane Ekman, 1977-1981; none listed, 1979-

Entries for this agency in the Annual Compilation and Statistical Report of Multi-Member Agencies Report: 1988, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983, 1982, 1981, 1980, 1979, 1978.

Note: This report provides membership details as well as meeting information and a summary of the group's activities.


SR 1987: "1987 legislation merged the Water Resources Board and committees with the new Water and Soil Resources Board."

News clippings and documents. Agencies Notebook Collection, 1967-1987.
Record last updated: 02/14/2020

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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