Watershed Planning

Planning Process


  1. Determine Initial Interest:
    • Public Meeting (Informational);
      • Inform public about the study.
      • Determine interest for study.
      • Gather information on problems, local issues and concerns.
      • Get suggestions on things to be done.
      • Receive offers to help with study.
    • Organize Steering Committee (Advisory Council).
    • Develop a Scope of Work;
      • Goals.
      • Objectives.
    • Prepare a Time-Line.

  2. Collect and Analyze Resource Data:
    • Determine the physical, natural and cultural resources relating to surface water.
    • Ascertain the status of resource information;
      • Which is available.
      • Which must be gathered by;
        • Donated professional services.
        • In-kind services.
        • Volunteer.
        • Contract.
    • Analyze resources;
    • As they relate to issues, concerns or problems.
    • In light of present and future conditions.

  3. Prepare Draft River Conservation Plan:
    • The Draft Plan shall contain;
      • Background information;
        • Brief history of planning activities.
        • The Steering Committee; and the roles played.
        • Processes used to gather and evaluate resource data.
      • A map of the planning area.
      • Zoning and land use patterns.
      • An inventory of resources gathered.
      • An analyses of the appropriate resources
      • Listing of issues, concerns, opportunities and threats to river values.
      • Management options (issues, opportunities and concerns solution);
        • Consider options that promote resource awareness and stewardship.
        • A catalogue of implementation, acquisition and development actions.
        • Proposed time frame for implementation/development.
        • Proposed lead agency or contact person to undertake activity.
      • Other appropriate information.
    • Public Meeting (Workshop);
      • 30 day period for review and comment.

  4. Prepare Final River Conservation Plan:
    • The Final Plan shall include;
      • Record of Public Meeting on Draft Plan.
      • Settlement of substantive comments received on Draft Plan.
      • Resolutions of support for the Final Plan from municipalities.
    • Public Hearing / Meeting;
      • Present and explain the Plan features.

Plan Format


  1. Project Area Characteristics
    1. Location--Geographic location within the state including counties, townships, etc.
    2. Size--Watershed area in acres or square miles and length of river.
    3. Topography--Mountainous, upland, bottomland, wetland, type of cover, etc.
    4. Major Tributaries--Names, lengths, etc.
    5. Corridor--Drainage area, approximately one mile on either side of river.
      1. Land Use--Farming, residential, commercial/industrial, etc.
      2. Zoning--Public or private.
    6. Social/Economic Profile
      1. Population Centers--Proximity to river corridor, trends, etc.
      2. Transportation Facilities--Roads, highways, trails, railroads, airports, terminals, etc.
      3. Major Sources of Employment--Location, size, commercial, industrial, etc.
    7. Outstanding or Unique Features--River related values, etc.

  2. Issues, Concerns, Constraints, and Opportunities--This section is provided for the purpose of addressing problem areas on a unique and individual basis. Any noteworthy situation not accounted for by other sections of this outline should be included here.


  3. Land Resources
    1. Soil Characteristics--Group, type, classification, geology, etc.
      1. Limitations / Suitability--Erosion, building, drainage, wet, etc.
    2. Ownership (%)
      1. Public
      2. Private
    3. Critical Areas
    4. Landfills
    5. Hazard Areas
      1. Waste Sites
      2. Abandoned Mines--Quarries.
      3. Sinkholes

  4. Water Resources
    1. Major Tributaries--Name, length, protected use, confluence points, HQ/EV, etc.
    2. Wetlands--Map, characteristics, etc.
    3. Floodplain--Map, insurance, problems, etc.
    4. Lakes and Ponds
    5. Water Quality
      1. Point Sources
      2. Non-Point Sources
      3. Monitoring
    6. Water Supply (surface)--Use of surface and underground, locations, service area, yield, etc.
      1. Public / Private
      2. Well Head Protection Areas

  5. Biological Resources
    1. Wildlife
      1. Terrestrial--Amphibian, reptile, bird, mammal, etc.
      2. Aquatic--Fish, invertebrates, etc.
    2. Vegetation--Native, exotic, etc.
    3. PNDI Species
    4. Important Habitats

  6. Cultural Resources
    1. Recreation
      1. Use (demand)--Day, night, seasonal, special, etc.
        1. Type--Hiking, biking, picnicking, birdwatching, organized sports, scenic enjoyment, fishing, boating, camping etc.
      2. Facilities (supply)--Private, public, federal, state, local, etc.
        1. Kind--Hiking trails (mi), biking trails (mi), picnic tables (#), group shelters (#), sports fields (#), river access, boat access, scenic vistas, camper sites, tent sites, etc.
    2. Archaeological / Historical
      1. Sites / Structure / Districts--Type, location, age, size, etc.
      2. Importance (recognition)--National register, state significance, local significance, etc.
      3. Ownership (public / private)--Security, etc.
      4. Condition

  7. Management Options (recommended action based upon resources)
    1. Restoration
    2. Maintenance
    3. Enhancement

  8. Appendices and Figures (maps and other appropriate graphics)