Twin Cities WRS Seminar

Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network: Program Overview and Water Quality Results


Patrick Baskfield
MN Pollution Control Agency

April 20, 2018


The Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment is providing an unprecedented opportunity to enhance monitoring of Minnesota waters and our understanding of the relative contributions of pollutants from various sources and waters. One example is the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN), a long-term statewide river monitoring network initiated in 2007 and designed to obtain pollutant load information from 199 river monitoring sites throughout Minnesota. The program utilizes state and federal agencies, universities, local partners, and MPCA staff to collect water quality and flow data to calculate nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollutant loads. This presentation includes a brief overview of the WPLMN followed by a detailed demonstration of a recently developed interactive application that allows the user to graphically review and download daily, annual, or average pollutant load, yield, or concentration data calculated by the WPLMN.

Patrick Baskfield has been employed as a hydrologist by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for the past twenty-two years. In 2008 Patrick was hired as the Monitoring Coordinator of the Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network, a state-wide river monitoring network of 199 monitoring sites. The program was designed to determine spatial and temporal differences in river water quality and track water quality trends. Patrick received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth and a Master’s Degree in Forest Hydrology from the University of Minnesota, St. Paul campus.