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, $14,275,000 from the Clean Water Fund (CWF) has been made available to local units of government ($83,549,195 from all sources) to improve the program's capacity to help solve pollution problems. As of 2/5/2020 the AgBMP Loan Program used Clean Water Fund dollars to support 2012 loans totaling $26,013,211.28. By practice type, 183  loans were for agricultural waste management projects, 52 for conservation tillage equipment, and 736 for septic systems upgrades or relocation. At this time the program has leveraged  47% of the total cost of projects. Overall, Clean Water funded AgBMP loans have leveraged  $24,820,792 from non-AgBMP sources.

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 are used throughout the state for any eligible nonpoint pollution problem; however, actual award are made in coordination of other AgBMP Loan funds available to the LGU.

AgBMP Loans Supported with Clean Water Fund Dollars (7/1/2009 - 2/5/2020)


Number of Loans

                 Amount of Loans

            Other Financing

           Total Cost of Projects

Ag Waste Management





Structural Erosion Control





Conservation Tillage Equipment





Septic Systems





Other Practices










**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.