Planning - From Start to Finish
In 2007 the National Environmental Services Center (NESC) published a four-part series in On Tap magazine about watershed approaches to water quality problems. The series covered starting a watershed group, measuring and assessing watershed conditions, creating a strategic plan, and putting the plan into action.
Each article in the series includes a case study of the Friends of Deckers Creek, a West Virginia watershed group, chronicling how that group addressed the topics in the article.
In 2009, NESC combined these useful articles into a convenient booklet entitled "Watershed Planning - From Start to Finish." Download this PDF for free or a hardcopy may be ordered by calling (304) 293-4191..
More watershed information from NESC is listed below.
SMART about Water Source Water Articles: Watersheds - Watersheds: Planning and Management
Watershed Approach Helps Mend Waterways . On Tap magazine, Summer 2006 - NESC staff writer Caigan McKenzie wrote the cover story Watershed Approach Helps Mend Waterways. In recent years, various organizations—the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency among them—have become interested in watershed approaches to assure clean water. This article provides an overview to adopting a watershed approach to water quality management.
Land Conservation: A Permanent Solution for Drinking Water Source Protection . On Tap magazine, Summer 2006 - In the 19th century, many large American cities purchased the land around their source water. More than a hundred years later, this technique is enjoying a resurgence in popularity as source water protection becomes more and more critical.
Managing Our Watersheds . Small Flows magazine, Fall 2000 - The authors discuss the science, philosophy, history, and role of small flows in watershed management.
Watershed Management: An Overview (Pipeline Fall 2006) . Pipeline newsletter, Fall 2000 - Watershed management can be thought of as a¬¨‚Ä†systems approach to environmental protection. This issue of Pipeline discusses the importance of watersheds as a part of a healthy environment and economy. The watershed-based NPDES permitting approach is described and two case studies are presented. Also included in this issue are tips for organizing a successful local watershed organization.
Watershed WebWater Footprint - The water footprint of an individual, business, or nation is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual, business, or nation. This site provides information for national water footprints and a calculator for leaning how much water an individual uses.
Izaak Walton League - For more than 30 years, the Izaak Walton League has been involved in watersheds through their Save Our Streams program. This part of their site has different tools for effective watershed improvement projects, including a stream monitoring and restoration database.
U.S. Geological Survey
The U.S. Geological Survey has a wealth of information about water issues. The National Water Quality Assessment Program monitors various rivers and streams around the country, including pollutant levels for pesticides, nutrients, and volatile organic compounds.
USDA Water Quality Information Center (WQIC)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service maintains a Web site with information about water and agriculture. The Water Quality Information Center site includes searchable databases, bibliographies, discussions lists, and news.
USDA Funding Tools and Guides
From aquatic and wetland plants to water conservation, information is available on numerous water-related topics. The site features a section titled “Funding” that provides a comprehensive list of federal money available for water projects.
Natural Resources Conservation Service National Watershed Manual (NWM)
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), formerly called the Soil Conservation Service, provides information for those involved in watershed planning and source water protection.
National Watershed Coalition
The National Watershed Coalition is a membership organization made up of national, regional, state, and local organizations, associations, and individuals, that advocate dealing with natural resource problems and issues using watersheds as the planning and implementation unit. Their Web site provides information about watersheds, legislation affecting watersheds, and various brochures and reports.
Center for Watershed Protection
The Center for Watershed Protection is a nonprofit organization that provides local governments, activists, and watershed organizations around the country with the technical tools for protecting streams, rivers, and lakes. The center has created and distributed a multidisciplinary strategy for watershed protection that encompasses planning, restoration, research, site design, education, outreach, and training. The site includes a calendar of events, publications, listing of watershed projects, technical tools for assessing and protecting watersheds, and a watershed quiz.
The River Network
River Network is a national nonprofit organization working for clean and healthy waters. The Portland, Oregon-based organization supports grassroots groups working for watershed protection. Their Web site includes a resource library, networking opportunities, and information about the Network’s services such as training and consultation.
The Chesapeake Bay Program
This program is a regional partnership of various state, federal, academic, and local watershed organizations that builds and adopts policies supporting restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. Their Web site features an information clearinghouse, publications, maps, and data.
The following watershed links are provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- Watershed Central - www.epa.gov/watershedcentral/
- Funding - www.epa.gov/owow/funding.html
- Discussion Forum - www.epa.gov/watershedforum/
- Tools - www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/tools/
- Training - www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/wacademy/
- Section 319 Nonpoint Source Program Grants - www.epa.gov/owow/nps/cwact.html
- Targeted Watersheds Grants Program - www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/initiative
- Watershed Approach Framework - www.epa.gov/OWOW/watershed/framework/html
- Water Quality Report - www.epa.gov/305b
- State Source Water Assessment and Protection Programs -
- STORET -
This section of EPA's site has raw water quality data, including where and when samples were taken,
sampling methods used, and the laboratory that performed the analysis.
- Total Maximum Daily Load Program -
Provides general and state-specific information about the maximum amount
of pollutants that a waterbody can receive and still meet water quality standards.