According to Minnesota Statute 103E.015, the Drainage Authority is required to consider certain environmental, land use, and multipurpose water management criteria before establishing a drainage project. The Drainage Authority must consider alternative measures, including those identified in state approved locally adopted water plans to:
- conserve, allocate, and use drainage waters for agriculture, stream flow augmentation, or other beneficial uses;
- reduce downstream peak flows and flooding;
- provide adequate drainage system capacity;
- reduce erosion and sedimentation; and
- protect or improve water quality.
The Drainage Authority must also consider the effects of a proposed project on flooding and water quality, present and anticipated land use, costs and benefits, and overall environmental impact.
When planning a project, the Drainage Authority must investigate the potential use of external sources of funding for the purposes of wetland preservation or restoration, creation of water quality improvements, or flood control. This includes early coordination with the Soil and Water Conservation District on funding and technical assistance.