Mission and Purpose of the RLWD

In accordance with applicable Minnesota Rules and Statutes, the Managers have adopted the following as the Overall Mission Statement:

"The Mission of the Red Lake Watershed District is to reduce flooding and flood damages, to seek to improve water quality and enhance fish and wildlife habitat through sound water management."


The Red Lake Watershed District (RLWD) is a special purpose unit of local government, the boundaries of which follow those of a natural watershed and a land area in which all water flows to one outlet.

The Board of Water and Soil Resources is the State Agency which by law (State Statute 103D) is responsible establishing Watershed Districts, overseeing their operation, and providing advice and services when requested.

The purpose of the Watershed District is to solve and prevent water-related problems, and to coordinate all water management decisions in the Watershed. In addition, local citizens are provided with legal and financial authority with which to act upon locally initiated projects aimed at solutions to water problems.

The Watershed Board is made up of seven managers who are appointed by their respective Board of County Commissioners. Meetings of the Red Lake Watershed are regularly held on the second and fourth Thursday of each month and are usually held at the District Office in Thief River Falls, Minnesota.

RLWD Objectives

  • Control or alleviate damage by flood waters;

  • Improve stream channels for drainage, navigation, and other public purposes;

  • Reclaim or fill wet and overflowed land;

  • Divert or change all or part of watercourses;

  • Regulate the use of streams, ditches, or watercourses;

  • Regulate use of riparian banks, lakeshores, and wetlands for preservation and beneficial public use;

  • Control or alleviate soil erosion and stream siltation of waterways and water basins;

  • To protect or enhance the water quality in watercourses or bodies of water;

  • Provide for the protection of groundwater, and regulate it for preservation and beneficial use.