Midwest Partnership for Watershed Management Decision Support Systems
The goal of the Midwest Partnership for Watershed Management Decision Support Systems is to develop, promote, and disseminate web-based spatial decision support systems to help manage watersheds in the Midwest. In particular, their aim is to make these systems freely available via the Internet to local officials, natural resource managers, and the general public.
Local watershed management forms the basis for continued economic development and environmental improvement in the United States. Success depends on an integrated approach that brings together scientific, education and training advances made across many individual disciplines and modified to fit the needs of the individuals and groups who must write, implement, evaluate and adjust their watershed management projects.
Many communities cannot afford even the most basic approach to, or initial screening of, their environmental problem and need cost effective, user friendly tools to assist them. Existing information and analytic tools, properly presented and freely accessible, can help meet this challenge. Watershed management data and decision support tools can allow informed screening and preliminary selection of alternatives, eliminating large amounts of preliminary "leg work".
In a time of limited local resources, a cost effective approach to watershed management planning that provides access to free, coherently organized, scientifically based information is sorely needed. The partnership aims to provide the maximum information and analytic tools to those levels of government closest to the actual problems. It offers both direct access to its own free web-based decision support tools and road maps to other sites where additional tools can be found.