Water Expertise

Cultivating water solutions and enhancing natural resources

Water is our most valuable resource. It plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem and quality of life across our communities. To protect it, our water resources team designs comprehensive solutions that focus on innovation, sustainability, and regulatory compliance to enhance water quality, safeguard public health, and promote environmental stewardship.

ISG can help you create sustainable water management systems and preserve your natural resources for a resilient and thriving community.

One Firm. One Team. Multi-Disciplinary Solutions in Architecture, Engineering, Environmental, and Planning.

Urban Stormwater

When it comes to urban stormwater, we push the standard. Our multi-disciplinary approach brings architects, engineers, environmental professionals, and planners together to elevate solutions beyond what’s typical. Whether addressing flooding and stormwater challenges or providing feasibility assessments, ISG adopts a system-wide approach to identify priority areas, including storage and conveyance projects.

Our sustainable solutions address today’s challenges while keeping an eye on the future. We ensure accuracy using targeted technology tools including XPSWMM, HydroCAD, HEC-RAS, InfoWorksICM, and 2D system modeling of urban environments. Climate modeling for future conditions can help you stage capital improvement projects for long-term investment planning.


  • Hydraulic + Hydrologic 1D& 2D Modeling
  • Stormwater Infrastructure Design
  • MS4 Permitting + Compliance
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Floodplain Assessment + Management
  • Master Planning
  • Nature Based Design
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Conveyance Analysis + Planning
  • Construction Staking, Observation, and Management
  • Lake, Stream and Wetland Restoration
  • Environmental Assessments + Enhancements
  • Water Quality Modeling + Trading
  • Data and Technology Solutions
  • Grants + Funding Assistance

Urban Stormwater Portfolio

Rural Surface Water

ISG champions balanced water solutions at the nexus of agriculture and ecology. Sophisticated hydrologic and hydraulic modeling will help you see current conditions and the impacts from planned projects. Embracing innovative technology solutions, including drones, LiDAR drones, and pipe crawlers, we accelerate the assessment of pipe and surface conditions while documenting changes from historical records. 

Collaborating with landowners, ISG designs drainage systems that provide agricultural lands with property drainage capacity while incorporating storage strategies to manage water volume and address precipitation variability throughout the growing season. With customized on-channel, off-channel, and edge-of-field best management practices (BMPs), we reduce your future maintenance costs while improving downstream water quality.


  • Two-Stage Ditches
  • Water Quality Best Management Practices
  • Stakeholder Engagement + Collaboration
  • Construction Staking, Observation, and Management
  • Bridges + Culverts
  • Drainage Studies + Reports
  • Drainage Water Recycling
  • Drone, Pipe Crawler, and Survey
  • Flood Control + Protection
  • Grants + Funding Assistance
  • Hydraulic + Hydrologic Modeling
  • Multi-Purpose Drainage Management Plans
  • Streambank Stabilization + Restoration
  • Wetland Delineation + Banking
  • GIS Mapping + Geospatial Analysis

Rural Surface Water Portfolio

Water Quality + Planning

A leading watershed analysis, planning, and implementation firm, ISG facilitates complex watershed planning processes to generate consensus and prioritize realistic solutions that move the needle on improved water quality. We are well-qualified to provide you precise surface water monitoring, implementable water quality improvement plans with measurable goals, and comprehensive stakeholder engagement tailored to each project. 

Our expert environmental planners and scientists have experience in local, state, and federal policy development and understand the outcomes needed to secure funding. We combine our technical skills with a listen-first approach, to gain a full understanding of local issues and concerns, leading to plans that get results from day one.


  • BMP Prioritization, Planning, and Implementation
  • Watershed Management Plans
  • Community Engagement
  • GIS Mapping + Geospatial Analysis
  • Hydraulic + Hydrologic 1D& 2D Modeling
  • Floodplain Assessment
  • Water Quality Monitoring + Data Analysis
  • Resilience Plans
  • Water Quality Modeling + TMDL Studies
  • Sub-Watershed Assessments
  • Ecological Restoration Plans
  • Grants + Funding Assistance
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Master Plans

Water Quality + Planning Portfolio

Natural Resource Management

Humble in our approach and established as a go-to leader in water resources management, ISG’s depth of expertise runs deep. Whether in large watersheds facing ecosystem challenges or in regions experiencing drought, we offer complete natural resource and ecological restoration solutions for lakes, streams, and wetlands. This resilience planning will bring lasting environmental impact to your region. Our comprehensive environmental and development services include permitting at local, state, and federal levels to ensure environmentally responsible development.

As environmental conditions change, ISG remains flexible and nimble in its management of natural resources to realize multi-benefit solutions. Our multi-disciplinary expertise, boots-on-the-ground experience, and trusted relationships with landowners, municipalities, and state agencies work in harmony to protect, conserve, and restore our valuable assets. Using a holistic lens, we consider the diverse ecological system of a resource to preserve its wild integrity while maximizing the social and economic benefits for communities.


  • Ecosystem Service Mitigation + Banking
  • Nature Based Solutions
  • Habitat Management Planning
  • Natural Channel, Oxbow, and Shoreline Restoration
  • NEPA Assessments
  • Plant Ecology
  • Stream + Lake Restoration
  • Field Monitoring Services
  • Tree Inventories
  • Endangered + Threatened Species Evaluations
  • Calcareous Fen Management
  • Dam Mitigation + Fish Passage
  • Ecological Restoration
  • Permitting + Compliance

Natural Resource Management Portfolio


Featured Work



ISG water resources engineers aren’t afraid to get our feet wet to mitigate risks for our clients. We take a consultative approach to identifying issues, building consensus, and navigating regulatory and construction processes.

We balance the protection of water resources with growing demands and will work as an extension of your team to determine feasible solutions that will help you achieve your region’s goals.

  • Permitting + Regulatory Expertise
  • Boots On the Ground Experience
  • Large Portfolio of Work

Business Unit Experts

Julie Blackburn, CFM

Water Business Unit Leader

Chuck Brandel, PE

Vice President – National Agricultural Drainage Expert

Paul Marston

Environmental Practice Group Leader

Spencer Pech, PE

Civil Engineer

Bailey Griffin, PE

Water Resources Engineer

Applied Tech in Action

I have over 15 years of working closely with ISG on various projects, I have been very impressed and satisfied with their designs and work. ISG is willing to work with landowners, county staff, DNR, BWSR, and many other agencies to design something that works. Their efficiency, experienced, and quality of work speaks for itself.

Dan Macek
Jackson County, Drainage Supervisor

Let's Chat.

The Latest at ISG

Navigating the MS4 Permit Program: How ISG Supports Communities Every Step of the Way

The management of stormwater runoff is a pressing concern for cities across the nation, and the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit program is a critical framework designed to protect water quality and our natural resources.

Industry Insights

Environmental Firm to Host Second Annual Southern Minnesota Lake Resources Conference

ISG will host the second annual Future of Southern Minnesota Lakes Conference at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center in Mankato, Minnesota. The conference will open on Friday evening, April 12, with a fireside chat featuring writer and host of the television show "Minnesota Bound," Ron Schara. The evening is an exclusive opportunity for conference attendees to share stories about Minnesota’s natural resources and learn from one another in a relaxed atmosphere.

Press Releases

ISG’s Water Business Leadership Realigns to Best Serve Clients

As a national leader in urban stormwater, rural surface water, water quality and planning, and natural resource management, ISG is excited to announce the following leadership role changes within the firm’s Water business unit, effective immediately.

Press Releases

Improving Drainage Systems + Protecting the Water Quality of Fairmont’s Chain of Lakes

The long-term impact of agricultural drainage on water quality can be mitigated with properly designed improved drainage systems. Using a nutrient treatment train technique, ISG is providing additional water storage, nutrient reduction, velocity reduction, protection against streambank erosion, and overall water quality improvements to Fairmont’s Chain of Lakes.

Industry Insights

Navigating Deep Waters: ISG Environmental Professionals Support Climate Resiliency in the Great Lakes

Environmental scientists at ISG work to improve our world’s waterways, including in the Great Lakes, to make a positive impact on our environment and create a better tomorrow. Equipped with the resources, tools, and expertise to dive deep into complex water challenges, our environmental professionals and water resource engineers discover solutions and processes that change the way we interact with and improve the Great Lakes now and into the future.

Industry Insights

Drainage Water Recycling: Multi-Purpose Benefits to Producers and the Land

When it comes to agricultural best management practices, the door is wide open for opportunity and innovation to meet modern demands. Even in the face of unpredictable weather patterns and changing conditions, it is possible to develop unique designs to actively manage agricultural water resources for the benefit of crop yields, water quality, and the ecosystem.

Industry Insights