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Home > Ag Chemicals & Fertilizers > Fertilizers > Nutrient Management > 2015 Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan > Mitigation > Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule > Part 1 of the Rule > Draft Vulnerable Groundwater Area Map

Draft Vulnerable Groundwater Area Map

Use the interactive map listed below to view the Draft Vulnerable Groundwater Area as well as municipal boundaries (city, township, county). The criteria used to determine the Draft Vulnerable Groundwater Area includes the saturated hydraulic conductivity of a soil (Ksat), karst geology, and near-surface bedrock. The Draft Vulnerable Groundwater Area illustrates where one of these three criteria are met across the state. Use the individual criteria layers to see which impacts a given location. Soils information is not yet available for portions of Lake and Pine counties.

Fields included in the Draft Vulnerable Groundwater Area are subject to Part 1 of the Draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule.  

View the Draft Vulnerable Groundwater Area Map

The three criteria and mapping layers used to create the Draft Vulnerable Groundwater Area Map include: 

  • Soil mapping units (SSURGO)- Ksat
    This layer includes soil mapping units where the weighted average Ksat for the profile between 0-5 feet exceeds 10 micrometers/second (roughly 1.4 inches/hour). Ksat is a physical property of the soil which quantitatively describes the soil's capacity to transmit water. A threshold value of 10 micrometers/second was used because Ksat values greater than or equal to 10 are identified as "high and very high" water movement through the soil according to the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service National Soil Survey Handbook. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provided the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) a table that is linked to SSURGO data.

    A list of vulnerable soils included in the Draft Vulnerable Groundwater Area is listed below.
    Draft Vulnerable Soils in Minnesota by County (PDF: 2.19 MB / 69 pages)
  • Karst geology
    Karst is a special type of landscape that is formed by the dissolving of soluble rocks, including limestone and dolomite. It is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves. Karst areas provide a direct, very rapid path between surface and groundwater which significantly increases the risk of groundwater contamination. This layer outlines areas where karst features can form on the land surface and where karst conditions are present in the subsurface. Additional information on Minnesota Regions Prone to Surface Karst Feature Development can be found at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
  • Bedrock at or near-surface
    Bedrock at or near the surface may allow water and contaminants to move quickly to the water table through fractures in the rock. Bedrock at or near surface was derived from surficial geology maps from the Minnesota Geological Survey and estimates the bedrock at or near the surface at a statewide scale. This dataset was developed as a special condition for the statewide estimate of pollution sensitivity of near-surface materials. For further information please see the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

MDA Contact

Larry Gunderson
Fertilizer Technical Unit Supervisor

Pesticide & Fertilizer Management Division