Clean Water Fund Activity and Environmental Benefits

The AgBMP loan program provides loans for projects that reduce existing water quality problems caused by non-point source pollution. The program provides needed funding for local implementation of clean water practices at a very low cost. It is unique in its structure and is not duplicated by other programs or funding sources.

Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment logo

To date, $14,050,000 from the Clean Water Fund (CWF) has been made available to local units of government ($76,824,195 from all sources) to improve the program's capacity to help solve pollution problems. As of 1/23/2018 the AgBMP Loan Program used Clean Water Fund dollars to support 849 loans totaling $17,970,960.92. By practice type, 140 loans were for agricultural waste management projects, 29 for conservation tillage equipment, 661 for septic systems upgrades or relocation, and for replacement or treatment of noncompliant wells. At this time the program has leveraged 37% of the total cost of projects. Overall, Clean Water funded AgBMP loans have leveraged $10,733,270.00.

Appropriations from the CWF are incorporated directly into the structure and procedures of the Ag BMP revolving loan program. This program has an existing administrative procedure to award funds, approve projects, issue loans, and collect repayments. Every loan is issued from one of five sources of funds, including both federal and state sources. The Clean Water Funds are used for loans that implement local components of recommended practices identified in
environmental plans, such as Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) implementation plans, local comprehensive water plans, wellhead protection plans, sole source aquifer protection plans, and Minnesota 319 Nonpoint Management Plan. These CWF funds can be used throughout the state for any eligible pollution problem or remedial practice.

AgBMP Loans Supported with Clean Water Fund Dollars (7/1/2009 - 1/23/2018)

Category Number of Loans Amount of Loans Other Financing Total Cost of Projects
Ag Waste Management 140 $8,326,826.44 $8,741,364.56 $17,068,191.00
Conservation Tillage Equipment 29 $1,297,555.53 $1,203,327.47 $2,500,883.00
Septic Systems 661 $8,028,148.70 $691,260.22 $8,719,408.92
Structural Erosion Control 3 $32,809.29 $80,049.60 $112,858.89
Other Practices 16 $285,620.96 $17,268.15 $302,889.11
Total 849 $15,236,400.52 $10,733,270.00 $28,704,230.92

**Although not spent immediately, all CWF appropriations are allocated to local units of governments to implement local water priorities. Funds are issued to local lenders as projects are completed.

Clean Water funding helps finance AgBMP loans for:

Lined manure basin in Stearns County, MN. Photo courtesy Stearns SWCD.
Manure management.
No till drilling soybeans. Photo courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
No-till planting equipment.
Conservation tillage. Photo courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Conservation tillage equipment.
Cement curbing, example of a practice funded by the MDA AgBMP Loan Program.
Feedlot improvements.
Cluster septic system construction. Photo courtesy Douglas SWCD.
Cluster septic system.
Habitat expanded, example of a practice funded by the MDA AgBMP Loan Program.
Private septic system.


How do AgBMP Loans improve Water Quality?

Loans must be used towards practices that improve an existing water quality problem, such as reducing soil erosion or ensuring safe manure and waste water management. So far, Clean Water Funds have been used by the AgBMP Loan Program to:

  • support over 26,000 acres of conservation tillage;
  • support the proper handling of manure from over 34,000 animal units;
  • and help over 609 Minnesotans protect water quality through septic system compliance.