Water board’s map system to help projects
By Daniel Arens
After several months of waiting since data was collected last fall, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) maps are now available for Mercer County.
Data on these maps is very precise, and could help with many geographical, topographical, and elevation-related questions in the county. For the Mercer County Water Board, the wealth of data provided could help show more clearly the effects of certain drainage/diversion proposals the board is currently looking into.
One benefit of LiDAR maps is that it could help the water board avoid going through a lot of independent surveying regarding flood control on the Knife River. The maps will also help clarify questions related to the Lake Shore Estates diversion project and the County 27 drainage project.
For both of these latter projects, further progress in planning or implementing the work is largely on hold until the water board can figure out mitigation. The board is not yet sure what, if any, mitigation will be required for water diversion on Lake Shore Estates, and it has been waiting for LiDAR mapping to determine the exact amount of water loss from lowering the water along County 27, which will have to be made up elsewhere.