Develop Management Practices to Achieve Goals

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Watershed Management Process
Build Partnerships
Characterize the Watershed
Set Goals and Identify Solutions
Design an Implementation Program
Implement the Watershed Plan
Measure Progress and Make Adjustments

Once you have analyzed the watershed conditions, quantified the pollutant loads, and determined the loading targets needed to meet your goals and objectives, you are ready to identify potential management measures and practices to achieve your goals. You can then screen potential practices to narrow the options down to those which are the most promising and acceptable.

Key questions to address in your evaluation of candidate management measures and practices are:

  • Are the site features suitable for incorporating the practice (i.e., is the practice feasible)?
  • How effective is the practice at achieving management goals and loading targets?
  • How much does it cost (and how do the costs compare between alternatives)?
  • Is it acceptable to stakeholders?

Management practices (often called best management practices, or BMPs) can be grouped into structural controls and nonstructural controls. Structural controls are defined as built facilities that typically capture runoff, treat it through chemical, physical, or biological means and discharge the treated effluent to receiving waters, ground water, or conveyance systems. Nonstructural practices usually involve changes in activities or behavior and focus on controlling pollutants at their source.

After screening possible management practices, you now select the practice that can help achieve your goals. There are five major steps to selecting your final management strategies:

  • Identify factors that will influence selection of the preferred management strategies
  • Select the suitable approach to evaluate the ability of the management techniques to meet the watershed objectives
  • Quantify the expected load reductions from existing conditions resulting from the management strategies
  • Identify capital and OM costs and compare initial and long term benefits
  • Select the final preferred strategies

Useful Tools

  • Category:Tools for Developing Management Practices to Achieve Goals is an abbreviated list of tools that might be used to help build partnerships. Each tool has a watershed central collaborative content area (where the tools can be discussed and rated) as well as links to the actual tool. More tools are listed under each substep.
  • Chapter 10 (PDF, 528 kb, 26 pp.) of EPA's Watershed Management Handbook demonstrates how to conduct an initial screening to determine the feasibility of using various management practices in your implementation program. The screening is based on factors such as the critical areas in the watershed, estimated pollutant removal efficiencies, costs, and physical constraints.
  • Chapter 11 (PDF, 843 kb, 42 pp.) pf EPA's Watershed Management Handbook describes how to take candidate options and refine the screening process to quantitatively evaluate their ability to meet your management objectives in terms of pollutant removal, costs, and public acceptance.