- Indiana Watershed Planning Guide:
- This guide is intended to steer watershed groups through the process of developing a watershed management plan with step-by-step instructions for each planning phase. It was revised in 2009 and is now an online interactive resource for watershed planning and implementation.
- Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters:
- U.S. EPA handbook that provides guidance to states, territories, authorized tribes, local governments, watershed organizations and the public regarding technical tools and sources of information for developing watershed based plans to improve and protect water quality. For an overview, refer to Chapter 2 (Overview of Watershed Planning Process) [PDF]. See also the U.S. EPA Watershed Management Process Web site for a step-by-step look at the watershed planning process.
- Chesapeake Bay Community Watershed Assessment Handbook:
- Developed for local communities within the Chesapeake Bay area, this handbook has information to help you get started, along with real examples of a vision, goals, objectives, action register and indicators.
- Chapter 3 U.S. EPA Handbook (Build Partnerships) [PDF] and Chapter 1 Indiana Watershed Planning Guide (Building Local Partnerships):
- These chapters will help you identify driving forces and key stakeholders in your community as well as help you keep stakeholders engaged and develop outreach activities.
- Steering Committee Recruitment Package [PDF]:
- This package includes a sample organizational recruitment letter, sample individual recruitment letter, a list of information to include in the recruitment package, and a reply postcard template.
- Collaborative Approaches to Natural Resource Management:
- The William D. Ruckelshaus Institute at the University of Wyoming works to find different ways to bring stakeholders into conversations and to a decision when natural resources are in dispute. This Web site includes links to additional resources for facilitators and mediators.
- Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program (National Park Service) Community Toolbox:
- This Web site includes information on decision-making, facilitation, meetings, outreach and organizing in relation to natural resource topics.
- Getting in Step: Engaging and Involving Stakeholders in Your Watershed [PDF]:
- This handbook provides useful tips on engaging people in all aspects of watershed planning from outreach and education to committees resolving conflict and sustaining the effort.
- NRCS Social Sciences Team Publications - People, Partnerships, and Communities Series:
- Many resources are available at this site to assist you in working with people during your watershed planning efforts.
- Watershed Inventory: See "Assess" section
- Integrating Community Concerns: See "Assess" section
- Eagle Creek Watershed Alliance:
- This watershed group used a scoring and ranking system to identify critical areas based on water quality and land use information. The methodology is laid out in sections VI (Subwatershed Assessment) and VIII (Critical Areas and Prioritization) of the plan.
- Big Walnut Creek WMP Example of Critical Area Determination [DOC]:
- The Big Walnut Creek Watershed Alliance (Putnam, Hendricks, and Boone Counties) used a variety of criteria to develop Critical Areas (i.e. Priority Subwatersheds) in the larger watershed. See the narrative and tables from their watershed management plan for an idea of how to develop your watershed critical areas.
- IDNR Riparian Forest Buffer Prioritization Framework:
- This model prioritizes watershed areas for riparian buffer establishment. Use this tool when riparian buffer establishment is a best management practice chosen for implementation.
- Wetland Function Assessment:
- Many watershed groups cite wetland restoration as part of the strategy for remediating nonpoint source pollution in their watersheds. This tool provides a framework to prioritize wetlands for restoration, based upon the functions they will provide in the watershed. It includes a significant amount of GIS work.
- Chapter 9 U.S. EPA Handbook (Set Goals and Identify Load Reductions) [PDF] and Chapter 7 Indiana Watershed Planning Guide (Setting Goals for Success):
- These chapters provide information on how to set goals for your watershed management plan.
- Big Walnut Creek WMP Example of Goals [DOC]:
- The Big Walnut Creek Watershed Alliance (Putnam, Hendricks, Boone Counties) developed broad goals from public concerns and their watershed inventory, then refined them into specific water quality improvement goals for the watershed management plan (WMP). See narrative from their WMP of their watershed goal statements and the thought process they used to develop their watershed goals.
- Big Walnut Creek WMP Example of Action Registers [DOC]:
- The Big Walnut Creek Watershed Alliance (Putnam, Hendricks, Boone Counties) developed strategies to address and implement the watershed management plan (WMP) goals, and documented their approach in action registers. See narrative and tables from their WMP for an idea of how to develop your watershed plan action register.
Load Estimate / Modeling
- Chapter 9 U.S. EPA Handbook (Set Goals and Identify Load Reductions [PDF]:
- Whether you need background information on how to estimate pollutant loads or guidance on selecting the best method for your particular watershed, this chapter is a great place to start.
- Spreadsheet Tool for Estimating Pollutant Loads (STEPL):
- STEPL consists of a series of Microsoft Excel worksheets that uses specific watershed characteristics from the user to calculate surface run-off and existing load estimates for nutrients, sediment, and five-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). Users can enter information on best management -practices (BMPs) to get load reduction estimates. Detailed instructions, FAQs, and tool downloads are available at this site.
- Long-Term Hydrologic Impact Assessment (L-THIA):
- L-THIA is an online interactive model designed to help community planners, developers and citizens quantify the impact of land use change on the quantity and quality of their water. This tool uses the land use and a soil characteristic from the user along with thirty years of precipitation data to determine the average impact that a particular land use change or set of changes will have on both the annual run-off and the average amount of several nonpoint source pollutants. For those unfamiliar with the hydrologic (water related) impacts of land use change, this tool along with the supporting documents will hopefully give the user enough information to start asking questions about land use changes in their area.
- Region V Model:
- This Microsoft Excel-based model provides spreadsheets to calculate load reductions of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus from selected agricultural and urban BMPs and bank stabilization. The model is based on the Universal Soil Loss Equation and you will need to input the Rainfall-Run-off Erosivity Factor (R), Soil Erodibility Factor (K), Length-Slope Factor (LS), Cover Management Factor (C) and Support Practice Factor (P).
- Online Load Duration Curve:
- Web based Load Duration Curve provides an interactive process to develop duration curves, which identify loading capacities relative to a target concentration. The program is based on the LOADEST model. The program requires input data for daily mean streamflow (in cfs) and constituent parameter concentration (mg/L, ug/L). This program requires a minimum amount of data to work properly and technical assistance to set up. Once you set up the program, you will be able to get duration curves or load estimates in a few seconds. Contact your watershed specialist to discuss your data requirements, which program might meet your needs and for assistance in downloading and running this program.
- Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE and RUSLE2):
- These models will help you to determine how much soil erosion was saved by the practices that have been installed in your watershed. Periodically compare the outputs from the models to your sediment goals to update your progress. A tutorial on RUSLE2 is available from the USDA.
- Choosing BMPs: See "Restore" section
Who Can Help
- Agency Responsibility Matrix [XLS]:
- The process of watershed management involves activities under the jurisdiction of many state and federal agencies. Use this chart to find out who does what when it comes to watershed planning.
- Finding the Right Partners [DOC]:
- Watershed management requires the participation of many businesses, organizations, landowners, and agencies. It can be overwhelming to think about all the stakeholders who should be made aware of your efforts. Use this table to brainstorm organizations and individuals who should be contacted and assign people to contact them.