MRBDC Local definitions


Local Inventory
Terms and Data Category Definitions

This page defines the local inventory terms and data categories used to describe information collected for the Minnesota River Basin Data Center. The terms and data categories are used throughout the local inventory section of the MRBDC web site.

Terms and Definitions

Format of existing data

Data may exist in more than one format such as Hard Copy File, Hard Copy Map, Electronic Document, Electronic Database, GISArcView, GIS ARC/INFO, or GIS Other.

Status of existing data

Complete Current
In Progress
Data collection is complete. Data set may be partial or complete and has not been updated.
The data set is complete and is updated regularly.
Data set consists of only current data and is regularly updated.
Data set is currently being developed.
Data set includes historical and current data and is regularly updated.
A plan is in place to develop a data set.

Date of data content

If Status is
Complete Current
In Progress
Date Refers to
The year data collection was completed.
The year of the most recent data update.
The year of the most recent data update.
The current year.
The current year.
No date entered.

Source (contact)  Holds the data and is the proper contact for a data request or inquiry.

Pedigree (originator)  Collected, developed, or created the data.

Data Categories and Definitions

Abandoned Farm Sites
Abandoned Wells
Active Wells
Biological Monitoring
BMP Focus Projects
Dump Sites
Federal Set Aside Acres
Ground Water Monitoring
Land Cover/Land Use
Manure Application Acres
On Site Septic Systems
Precipitation Monitoring
Recreation and Natural Areas
Sealed Wells
State Set Aside Acres
Storage Tanks
Surface Water Quality Monitoring
Surface Water Quantity (Flow) Monitoring
Watershed Assessment

Data Category Data Description
Abandoned Farm Sites Abandoned Farm Sites refer to property that was the location of an active farmstead. An abandoned farm site may include a dwelling and various outbuildings, or may be completely void of any structures. An abandoned farm site inventory may provide information about wells, underground storage tanks, or septic systems on the property.
Abandoned Wells Abandoned Wells refer to data concerning wells which are no longer in use and have not been properly sealed. Many abandoned wells predate 1974, when water well construction code was developed which requires well drillers to submit records of newly drilled wells to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Abandoned well data may be collected through a specifically designed inventory or through an abandoned farm site inventory or public survey which includes the collection of abandoned well data as a priority.
Active Wells Active Wells refer to data concerning wells which are privately owned sources of drinking water and are currently in use. The Minnesota Department of Health receives active well logs from well drillers across the state. Active Well information is entered into the County Well Index (CWI) which is available from the Minnesota Geologic Survey (MGS). Active well data may include information about well design, location, depth, water chemistry, and aquifer in use.
Biological Monitoring Biological Monitoring refers to any data from biological sampling or surveying. Biological monitoring data may include vegetative surveys, phytoplankton, zooplankton or invertebrate analyses, fisheries surveys, or rare and endangered species inventories.
BMP Focus Projects A BMP is a best management practice. Examples of BMPs include conservation tillage practices, buffer strips, grassed waterways, ag waste system upgrades, terraces, or tree plantings. BMP Focus Projects refers to data concerning BMPs implemented within a specially funded project area. For example, a project area defined as having a large percentage of highly erodible soils may be a priority area for the implementation of conservation tillage practices, terraces, tree plantings or other BMPs.
Drainage Drainage refers to data concerning naturally occurring or manmade water courses, open or closed drainage ditches and tile. Locally held records of drainage usually consist of hard copy files and maps of public drainage ditches. Limited tile data exists at the local level unless an inventory or survey was conducted for the purpose of gathering tile information from landowner / operators.
Dump Sites Dump Sites refer to data concerning active or inactive township and municipal dumps, landfills, and promiscuous or clandestine dumps (commonly found in ravines, on abandoned and active farm sites, and in gravel pits). Examples of data associated with dump sites include: dump site location, type of dump, possible contaminants, cleanup efforts, and other permit information.
Federal Set Aside Acres Federal Set Aside Acres refer to data concerning acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). These programs are administered through local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices.
Feedlots Feedlots refer to data concerning buildings or lots used for the confined feeding, breeding or holding of animals. A county may or may not have a feedlot ordinance and may or may not participate in the statewide feedlot permitting program. Typical data gathered for a feedlot inventory include: feedlot location, type of facility, number and type of animal units, and other permit information.
Ground Water Monitoring Ground water monitoring refer to data concerning the analysis of ground water. Sources of ground water include natural springs, observation wells, monitoring wells, irrigation wells, privately owned wells, and public water supplies. Ground water is commonly monitored for levels of nitrate and other contaminants. Examples of ground water monitoring data include: various physical and chemical parameters, well water level, well water age, and source information (spring or type of well).
Land Cover / Land Use Land Cover / Land Use refers to data concerning the state of the land in terms of its cover and use. Land cover / land use may include, but is not limited to, data about agricultural, urban, industrial, set aside, and pasture acres; building sites, forested areas, septic systems, wells, or feedlots.
Manure Application Acres Manure Application Acres refer to data concerning acres of land that have had manure applied to them. Local records of manure applied acres are generally associated with manure application plans for permitted feedlots. Examples of manure application data include: type of manure applied, manure nutrient content, rate of manure application, and number of manure applied acres .
On Site Septic Systems On Site Septic Systems refer to any data concerning individual sewage treatment systems (ISTS). The extent of on site septic system records held at the local level varies from county to county. Examples of on site septic system data include: location of the system, type of system, code or noncode status of the system, and other permit information.
Other Other refer to data concerning information that does not otherwise fit into any data category, yet is useful in managing natural resources. Examples of other data are erosion or gully inventories and public opinion, perception or values surveys.
Precipitation Monitoring Precipitation Monitoring refers to data concerning the collection and measurement of precipitation. Precipitation is measured in tenths and hundredths of inches and includes rain, snow, or sleet. Precipitation data is often collected through a local volunteer rain gage network or for a specific project.
Recreation and Natural Areas Recreation and Natural Areas refer to data concerning areas that are used for recreational purposes or are viewed as having natural features. Examples of recreation or natural areas include federal, state, and county parks, boat and canoe access sites, and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) or Scientific and Natural Areas (SNAs).
Sealed Wells Sealed Wells refer to data concerning water wells that have been sealed. Wells are sealed if they are not in use, if they are contaminated, if they have been improperly sealed in the past, if the well threatens ground water quality, or if the well otherwise poses a threat to health or safety. Examples of sealed wells data include: a description of the well, well location, reason for sealing, type of well, aquifer in use, and depth of well sealed.
State Set Aside Acres State Set Aside Acres refer to data concerning acres enrolled in the Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Program. RIM is a program of the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) and is administered locally through county Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Offices.
Storage Tanks Storage Tanks refer to any data concerning above ground or under ground storage tanks. Examples of storage tank data include: tank description, tank location, tank release history, inspection records, and other permit information.
Surface Water Quality Monitoring Surface Water Quality Monitoring refers to data concerning physical and chemical analysis of surface water. Lakes, streams, rivers, ditches, tile lines, wetlands, and reservoirs are all sources of surface water. Surface waters are commonly monitored for the following physical and chemical water quality parameters: phosphorus, nitrogen, dissolved oxygen, suspended sediment, turbidity, pH, coliform and streptococci bacteria, zooplankton, phytoplankton, chlorophyll a, biological oxygen demand, pesticides, and heavy metals.
Surface Water Quantity (Flow) Monitoring Surface Water Quantity Monitoring refers to data concerning water quantity monitoring of surface water. This includes stream flow monitoring, stream gauging, discharge, and lake level monitoring. Water quantity measurements are commonly taken when water quality samples are collected. Water quantity measurements are used to create hydrographs which are visual representations of a stream's discharge over time.
Watershed Assessment refers to the data collected from studying the effects of land cover/land use, drainage, conservation practices, etc. on receiving bodies of water for a particular major watershed, minor watershed, or other specified watershed area. A watershed assessment is typically completed for a Phase I-Diagnostic Study of a Clean Water Partnership Project.
Wetlands Wetlands refer to data concerning a variety of wetland related information. Wetlands data may be associated with drained, farmed, or prior-converted wetlands inventories, Wetland Conservation Act (WCA)mitigation projects or banking acres, or wetland restoration projects. Examples of wetlands data include: National Wetlands Inventory (NWI), on-site wetland identification, size or acreage, location, and various physical characteristics.

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