|Watershed Management Process|
|Characterize the Watershed|
|Set Goals and Identify Solutions|
|Design an Implementation Program|
|Implement the Watershed Plan|
|Measure Progress and Make Adjustments|
If you have determined that you are not meeting the implementation milestones or interim targets that you set for load reductions and other goals, what should you do? There are several possible explanations for why you have not met your interim milestones or why pollutant loads aren't being reduced. Sometimes it takes much longer to see results in the waterbody than anticipated. Sometimes management practices have been installed but are not being used or maintained properly so they have lost their effectiveness. Before making any modifications to your watershed plan, ask yourself the following questions to determine if you need to make changes. For more detailed information regarding each point, please see Chapter 13 (PDF, 728 kb, 18pp.) of EPA's Watershed Handbook.
Not Meeting Implementation Milestones:
- Did weather-related causes postpone implementation?
- Was there a shortfall in anticipated funding for implementation of management measures?
- Was there a shortage of technical assistance?
- Did we misjudge the amount of time needed to install some of the practices?
- Did we fail to account for cultural barriers to adoption?
Not Making Progress Toward Reducing Pollutant Loads:
- Are we implementing and using the management measures correctly?
- Has the weather been unusual?
- Have there been unusual events or surprises in the watershed?
- Are we doing the right things?
- Are our targets reasonable?
- Are we monitoring the right parameters?
- Do we need to wait longer before we can reasonably expect to see results?
Revisit the watershed plan:
Revisiting the plan and reexamining earlier assessments of the sources of pollutant loads might be the only answer at this point. The good news is that the land treatment and water quality monitoring data you've collected during this process can contribute to a better understanding of your watershed. The watershed team can change any of the elements on the schedule of activities, especially a management measure or responsible party. It can also change priorities and shift resources to achieve a high-priority milestone.