Set Goals and Identify Solutions

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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

Now that you have characterized and quantified the pollutants in the watershed, you are ready to refine the preliminary goals and develop more detailed objectives, measurable targets, and indicators. You will also select management strategies that when implemented, will help to achieve your goals.


Set Overall Goals and Management Objectives

You have already identified preliminary goals and associated environmental indicators with your stakeholders earlier when characterizing the watershed, but now you will refine those goals based on your data analysis. You will also establish more detailed objectives and targets that will guide the development of your management strategies.


Develop Indicators/Targets

Once you have established specific management objectives, you will develop environmental indicators and numeric targets to quantitatively measure whether you are meeting your objectives. You identified indicators with your stakeholders earlier to determine the current health of the watershed and now you will refine these indicators to measure implementation of your management strategies.

Determine Load Reductions Needed

To estimate the load reductions expected once the management measures are implemented, you need to understand the cause-and-effect relationship between pollutant loads and the waterbody response. Establishing this link enables you to evaluate how much of a load reduction from watershed sources is needed to meet waterbody targets.


Identify Critical Areas

In general, management practices are implemented immediately adjacent to the waterbody or upland to address the sources of pollutant loads. As part of your screening process for candidate management practices, you will want to identify which practices can be implemented in the critical areas that you have identified.


Develop Management Practices to Achieve Goals

You can then screen potential practices to narrow the options down to those which are the most promising and acceptable using screening criteria. These criteria are based on factors such as pollutant reduction efficiencies, legal requirements, and physical constraints. Once you have identified and screened various management options, calculate the effectiveness of the management practices, compare the costs and benefits, and select the final management strategies that will be the most effective in achieving the load reductions needed to meet the goals for your watershed.


Results and Next Steps

At the end of this step you will have completed the following:

  • Finalized your goals and identified management objectives
  • Developed numeric targets and indicators
  • Identified load reductions needed to achieve goal
  • Developed management strategies to implement in the watershed

Next Steps

  • Develop an implementation program which outlines the major activities to be conducted, a schedule with well-defined milestones, criteria to measure progress, an information and education component, an estimate of financial and technical resources needed, a monitoring component, and an evaluation framework.

Useful Tools

Category:Tools for Setting Goals and Identifying Solutions is an abbreviated list of tools that might be used to help set goals and identify solutions. 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.