Minnesota watershed districts are local units of government established to address an area's water related problems. The Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District was formed in 1960 to work on flood control, drainage, pollution and groundwater supply issues. The District's 76 square miles includes agricultural land, urban land, rural residences, wildlife areas, lakes, streams, wetlands and drainage ditches.
During the district's first twenty-five years, activities focused on flood control, establishing public drainage projects, regulating private drainage, diverting water to maintain lake levels and protecting and enhancing Worthington's water supply. Constructing the Stateline Dam was the district's most ambitious project during this period. The project was multi-purpose, creating the Lake Bella reservoir to recharge the Ocheyedan aquifer, protecting downstream farmland from flooding and creating the Lake Bella Park recreation area.
Recent projects have focused on protecting surface and groundwater quality by reducing and treating runoff, establishing grassed buffers along streams and around lakes, protecting and restoring wetlands and retiring marginal agricultural land in high priority areas.
The district's long range goals are stated in the Nobles County Local Water Management Plan, which serves as its overall management plan. Day-to-day operations are guided by the district's annual plan. The district is governed by a five member Board of Mangers. The board's regular meetings are on the first Tuesday of each month at 4:00 p.m. in the Nobles County Public Works Facility, 960 Diagonal Road, Worthington, Minnesota. Meetings are open to the public.
Board Meeting Agendas are mailed and posted here about one week before the meeting.