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Mississippi River Watershed Plan

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Integrated Watershed Management is the process of managing human activities and natural resources on a watershed basis, considering social, economic and environmental issues, as well as community interests, in order to manage water resources sustainably. In July 2021, the MVCA Board of Directors approved a Watershed Plan for the Mississippi River system. The Mississippi River Watershed Plan reflects current watershed conditions and anticipated changes related to climate, land use, and the environment. It identifies key issues and challenges, and presents strategic actions aimed at maintaining a healthy river and watershed while balancing the needs of its many users.

The development of this watershed plan was a collaborative effort between the MVCA and its many partners including the MVCA's Public Advisory Committee (PAC). This new watershed plan will help to guide future decision-making in the watershed. It is intended to be a living document that will be updated as needed. An Indigenous Engagement Plan has been prepared to guide MVCA collaboration with Indigenous communities to ensure the plan respects and reflects Indigenous peoples’ knowledge and values for the watershed. The Watershed Plan will be adjusted to reflect the outcome of that engagement.

Public Advisory Committee

The MVCA PAC provides a mechanism for the public to contribute to development of a watershed plan, follows the progress of the plan’s implementation and be aware of any issues or proposed changes to the plan. The Committee enhances the ability of MVCA and other partners to deliver on the management responsibilities outlined in the plan, but also provides a communications link with the public to foster and maintain credible relationships. The members of the PAC are broadly representative of the many and various interests and uses of the river throughout the watershed. The PAC reports to the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority Board of Directors. Final decisions on advice received from the PAC shall rest with the Board of Directors.

Background Material

Discussion Papers

MVCA worked with a Public Advisory Committee (PAC) to develop a series of Discussion Papers which formed the basis for consultation with our many stakeholders and watershed communities – our partners in developing the Mississippi River Watershed Plan. 


A series of four Background Reports were also prepared to support the development of the Mississippi River Watershed Plan. The Backgrounders examine various characteristics of the Mississippi River Watershed, looking at past and current conditions and, where possible, anticipating future changes on the landscape.


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