Set Overall Goals and Management Objectives

From Watershed Central Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
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 identified broad watershed goals with your stakeholders (i.e. answering what do I want to happen as a result of my watershed plan?) you begin to identify the sources contributing to watershed problems, and then refine your watershed goals and develop management objectives targeted at specific pollutants or sources. The management objectives determine how you will achieve your goals. Measurable indicators are important to track progress toward meeting those objectives. You should link some of these indicators to pollutant sources based on their cause-and-effect relationship to then identify the load reductions needed to meet the target. You can use this information to translate your watershed goals into management objectives. Management objectives incorporate the watershed goals but focus on specific processes that can be managed, such as pollutant loading and riparian conditions. For example, perhaps during the scoping phase you knew that there was a problem with aquatic habitat so you established the preliminary goal of restoring aquatic habitat. Now, after the data analysis, you can refine the goal to include a specific management objective, such as restoring aquatic habitat in the upper main stem of White Oak Creek by controlling agricultural sources of sediment. Table 9-1 below provides some examples of translating watershed goals into management objectives.

Table 9-1. Sample Goals Linked to the Sources and Impacts to Define Management Objectives

Preliminary Goal


Cause or Source of Impact

Management Objective

Support designated uses for aquatic life; reduce fish kills

Dissolved oxygen



Elevated phosphorus causing increased algal growth and decreased dissolved oxygen

Cropland runoff

Reduce phosphorus loads from cropland runoff and fertilizer application

Reduce flood levels

Peak flow volume and velocity

Inadequate stormwater controls, inadequate road culverts

Minimize flooding impacts by improving peak and volume controls on urban sources and retrofitting inadequate road culverts

Restore aquatic habitat

Riffle-to-pool ratio, percent fine sediment

Upland sediment erosion and delivery, streambank erosion, near-stream land disturbance (e.g., livestock, construction)

Reduce sediment loads from upland sources; improve riparian vegetation and limit livestock access to stabilize streambanks

Meet water quality standards for bacteria to reduce beach closures

Fecal coliform

Runoff from livestock operations, waterfowl

Reduce bacteria loads from livestock operations

Improve aesthetics of lake to restore recreational use

Algal growth, chlorophyll a

Elevated nitrogen causing increased algal growth

Reduce nitrogen loads to limit algal growth