Stream Hydrology Program

Greg Kruse, Water Monitoring and Surveys Unit Supervisor
651-539-2108

Video

Flood warning and Stream flow monitoring This link leads to a video.

Purpose

The Stream Hydrology Program exists to support the DNR Ecological and Water Resources director and staff by collecting data and providing information on stream flows in Minnesota that are needed to effectively carry out DNR  statutory responsibilities and water management programs.

Description

The director of DNR Ecological and Water Resources has been delegated authority from the DNR commissioner for administering the majority of the state water law contained in Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 103G. Chapter 103G gives the commissioner authority to regulate work in public waters; control the appropriation and use of water; ensure the safety of dams; and conduct water resource surveys, investigations, and studies.

Specifically, Section 103G.285, Subdivision 2 makes the commissioner responsible for limiting water withdrawals from streams during low flow conditions:

If data are available, permits to appropriate water from natural and altered natural watercourses must be limited so that consumptive appropriations are not made from the watercourses during periods of specified low flows. The purpose of the limit is to safeguard water availability for instream uses and for downstream higher priority users located reasonably near the site of appropriation.

Clientele, Products, and Services

Primary clientele are DNR Ecological and Water Resources technical staff, supervisors, and managers who need stream flow information to make permit decisions. Secondary clientele include technical staff in other DNR divisions, other agencies, local governments, consulting engineering firms, and members of the public needing stream flow information for planning and management decisions.

Requests for stream gaging assistance come from DNR field hydrologists, other state agency staff, and local governments and watershed organizations. More requests are received than can be served, so project priorities must be determined.

Products provided by the Stream Hydrology Program include:

  • production and distribution of weekly statewide stream flow conditions reports during the open water season (typically April through October),
  • production of stream discharge and elevation hydrographs,
  • technical reports analyzing hydrology for special projects,
  • technical guidance materials explaining stream flow measurement techniques, and
  • production and distribution of daily stream flow conditions reports during severe drought or flood events.

Services provided by the Stream Hydrology Program include:

  • accessing and interpreting data from more than 70 stream flow network gages during the open water season,
  • taking miscellaneous stream flow measurements at key locations during severe drought or flood events
      - flood warning and stream flow monitoring video This link leads to a video.
  • making periodic stream flow measurements and establishing and maintaining stream elevation-discharge curves for special projects and flood forecast/warning gages
  • providing information on low-flow conditions to the director and Water Use Management Unit for use in making decisions regarding suspension of surface water appropriations,
  • reviewing and making recommendations on hydropower licensing and relicensing applications submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,
  • providing historical stream flow and stage information and flow statistics,
  • monitoring operation of 10 hydropower facilities for compliance with federal licenses and state water permits, and
  • applying hydrologic models to problems involving surface/ground water interactions.

Information Management

The Stream Hydrology Program uses a unique database and processing software known as HYDSTRA for storage and management of the data from the network of stream gages.

The HYDSTRA system stores DNR stream data, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MNPCA) stream data. This is the first time the DNR and MNPCA are archiving stream data in the same location. Other DNR divisions and outside cooperators have expressed interest in sharing this data system as well.

HYDSTRA is a collection of database management tools and hydrologic software packages that allows users to store and organize historical data, graphically analyze and edit hydrologic data, store and access digital photos, maps and other documents associated with stream files. HYDSTRA also offers various output formats, both graphical and tabular, to share stream data with others.

Flood forecast/warning system gage data are automatically downloaded into HYDSTRA via a satellite link. Stream flow and stage data collected at DNR special project sites or reported to DNR by hydropower facility operators are also stored in HYDSTRA. DNR floodwarning gage data can be accessed at the DNR/MPCA Cooperative Stream Gaging Web page and a National Weather Service Web site.

HYDSTRA

  • Gage locations, site characteristics, reader, type, and drainage area
  • Benchmark information
  • Flow measurements
  • Stage gage readings and electronic readings
  • Rating curves, rating tables
  • Computed stream flows
  • Hourly headwater and tailwater readings
  • Flow statistics
  • Electronic documents including: photos, maps, schematics, etc.

Staff

Supervisors

Greg Kruse Water Monitoring and Surveys Unit Supervisor 651-539-2108
Joy Loughry Field Operations Supervisor 651-539-2109
Lisa Pearson Field Operations Supervisor 651-539-2113

St. Paul

Andrea Bergman Hydrologist 651-539-2101
Fred Bowen Hydrologist 651-539-2102
Nate Glocke Hydrologist 651-539-2106
Dan Henely Hydrologist 651-539-2107
Michelle Krecklau Hydrologic Technician 651-539-2127
Matthew Meyer Hydrologist 651-539-2110
Zach Moore Hydrologist 651-539-2112
Cory Peterson Hydrologic Technician 651-539-2124
Dan Plovnick Hydrologist 651-539-2114
Carrie Robertson Hydrologist 651-539-2116
Brenda Stauffer Hydrologist 651-539-2118
Vacant Hydrologist
Vacant Hydrologic Technician
Vacant Hydrologic Technician

Detroit Lakes

Josh Prososki Hydrologist 218-637-2156
Vacant Hydrologist
Vacant Hydrologic Technician

Grand Rapids

Heather Lehmkuhl Hydrologist  
Jon Libbey Hydrologic Technician 218-999-7820
Jim Pogorelc Hydrologist 218-327-4110

Marshall

Kyle Jarcho Hydrologic Technician 507-537-6605
Ben Kiefer Hydrologist 507-537-6605
Vacant Hydrologist