The Cannon River Watershed Partnership (CRWP) has prevented 94 million gallons of untreated sewage from entering the state’s rivers and streams over the past decade through its Southeast Minnesota Wastewater Initiative project, a partnership between CRWP, Southeast Minnesota Water Resources Board, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Instead of using the traditional top-down approach to wastewater treatment, the CRWP brings wastewater professionals and residents together to choose the treatment needed for their particular situation. This collaborative strategy builds widespread trust, effective treatment approaches and local competency around wastewater issues. It also has paid off in user rates that are, on average, much lower than in similar size communities in other parts of the state.
The CRWP was honored in 2013 by the Environmental Initiative for having achieved extraordinary outcomes for Minnesota’s environment by harnessing the power of partnership.