4 Why a Watershed Approach? Watersheds are universal well-defined areas that provide a common basis for discussion of water, related resources, and landscape processes.WatershedOutlet
5 NRCS Planning Continuum Utilize a progressive and iterative approach to watershed-scale planning. Planning assistance occurs along a continuum and can be provided at various levels of intensity, depending on the scope and complexity of the resource problems, the target audience, available technologies, and local interest and commitment.
7 What are RWAs? Rapid Watershed Assessments: Are summaries of resource concerns and opportunities.Provide initial estimates of where conservation investments would best address resources concerns.Are the product of a process which evaluates resource conditions and needs on an 8-digit hydrologic unit basis.Interim Guidance1. Developed in December 2005 as interim guidance in preparation for the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative2. Provides procedural and process steps for completing rapid watershed assessments3. Illustrates the use of rapid watershed assessments in area-wide or watershed planning
8 8-Digit Hydrologic Units 69 HUs in Nebraska (38 primarily in Nebraska)Average HU size = 1,637 mi² (1,047,000 acres)HUs are accounting areas, not necessarily watersheds250,000 acre limit in PL-566, or an average of 4 per HU. Remember, I said estimate 36 months for a Watershed Plan, or 144 months for a HU.
10 Resource ProfileA descriptive set of data portraying the significant natural resource features of the watershed.
11 Resource Profile Use of Geographic Information System (GIS) Conservation planning teams working in each watershed:Meeting with landowners and conservation groupsInventorying agricultural areasAssessing current levels of resource managementIdentifying conservation recommendationsMaking qualitative estimates of the impacts of conservation on local resource concerns
12 Assessment MatrixAn evaluation of watershed resources to determine the size, scope, and value of natural resource needs.
13 Assessment Matrix Matrix to summarize the following: Current resource conditions and O&M costsDesired resource conditionsConservation practice and system recommendations and operation and maintenance costsQualitative effects on primary resource concernsPotential funding sources for implementation
14 Level of AssessmentLimited in detail due to the restricted data collection associated with the process:Does not address cumulative effectsDoes not address infrastructure needsTends to be qualitative, not quantitative in natureA more extensive planning process would be used to collect detailed information for Area Wide Community Based Planning.It should be noted that this level of assessment only itemizes costs for on-farm conservation and not for accompanying infrastructure changes that may also be needed, such as new irrigation delivery systems, flood protection, extensive structural stream restoration, etc. Infrastructure changes usually require a more in-depth analysis than permitted in rapid watershed assessment. The need for infrastructure changes should be acknowledged if identified during the assessment process.As mentioned above, in order to bolster the quantitative nature of the data with regard to cumulative effects or infrastructure needs at the watershed level, further planning activity would be required through a locally-led watershed or areawide planning process. The process anticipated for use at this point would be PL-566 watershed planning or areawide planning, and would be entered into when the rapid watershed assessment identifies the need for either structural or potentially controversial solutions to resource problems. In these instances, the more extensive planning process would be used to collect much more detailed information related to the specific effects of the proposed actions.
15 Blackbird-Soldier HU Pilot RWA Covers NE and IANE = 810 mi214 sub-watershedsParts of 4 countiesOmaha and Winnebago Reservations
16 RWA’s are: One Component of Strategic Plan watershed approach Will be used as a platform for conservation program deliveryIs being implemented as a pilot effort
17 Current Status of Resource Assessments in Nebraska
18 How do Rapid Watershed Assessments Relate to the Area Wide Community Based Planning Process?
19 Relationship Between the NRCS Planning Process and RWA Phase I - Collection and Analysis1. Identify Problems 2. Determine Objectives 3. Inventory Resources 4. Analyze Resource DataPhase II - Decision Support5. Formulate Alternatives 6. Evaluate Alternatives 7. Make DecisionsPhase III - Application and Evaluation8. Implement the Plan 9. Evaluate the PlanRWAPlanningImplementationFollow-up/Adapt. Man.Rapid Watershed Assessment addresses the first six steps of the NRCS planning process on a broad scale. The information is general in nature and is not sufficiently detailed to be used as a plan. However, the information is a solid starting point to use in a more detailed area wide or watershed planning effort. Guidance for these planning efforts can be found in the NRCS National Planning Procedures Handbook, the Basin and Area Planning Manual, or the National Watershed Manual.
20 NRCS Water Resources Programs and Rapid Watershed Assessment
21 Community Based Planning What is it? Moving from Rapid Watershed Assessments to Community Based PlanningCommunity Based Planning What is it?
22 COMMUNITY BASED PLANNING Community Based Planning is a voluntary, locally led planning process that integrates social, economic, and environmental concerns over a defined geographic area (such as; a county, a watershed, or a region).
23 COMMUNITY BASED PLANNING What is the desired product?
24 COMMUNITY BASED PLANNING A planning process that results in the development of A comprehensive Management Plan that is Fully Implemented
25 COMMUNITY BASED PLANNING Key Components-1. A common Vision of desired conditions2. Identification of Objectives to reach vision3. Opportunities and concerns drive the process4. Utilizes adaptive management5. Utilizes facilitation6. Communication and Education are important7. Documentation and Evaluation of outcomes
26 Community Based Planning Process Part A. PRE-PLANNING ACTIVITIESIdentify a Project Sponsor.Explain the Community Based Planning Process and it’s benefits.Explain the roles each group or entity plays.Identify the Project Coordinator.Identify the planning area on a map.
27 Community Based Planning Process Part A. PRE-PLANNING ACTIVITIESGather any readily available maps or data.Brainstorm for other sources of information and data.Obtain a written commitment from the sponsor to move forward with the planning process.
28 Community Based Planning Process Part A. PRE-PLANNING ACTIVITIESEstablish a Technical Advisory Team made up of key resource people.Brainstorm to identify key stakeholders in the planning area.Invite all interested stakeholders, agencies, and organizations to initial public meeting.
29 Community Based Planning Process Part B. PLANNING PROCESS STEPSPHASE I – Collection and Analysis1. Identify Opportunities and Concerns2. Determine Objectives3. Inventory Resources4. Analyze Resource Data
30 Community Based Planning Process Part B. PLANNING PROCESS STEPSPHASE I I – Decision Support5. Formulate Alternatives6. Evaluate Alternatives7. Make Decisions
31 Community Based Planning Process Part B. PLANNING PROCESS STEPSPHASE III – Application and Evaluation8. Implement the Plan9. Evaluate the Effects of the Plan10. Celebrate Successes
32 BENEFITS OF USING COMMUNITY BASED PLANNING Community and stakeholders are much more informed about what is happening.Community and stakeholders have the opportunity to be actively involved in the decisions made.Projects completed are more successful.Implementation goes smoother because of community acceptance during the planning process.
34 Promoting Stakeholder Involvement Throughout the Planning Process Work with stakeholders to identify the resource problems.Find out what they are able and willing to do to address the identified problems.Find out which partners are willing to participate (NRCS, RC&D’s, NDEQ, UNL Extension, NRD’s, other state agencies, private conservation groups) and what resources they can bring to the table.
35 Things to Consider When Defining an Area What is the scope of the problem?What is the area to be protected or benefited (water body on 303d list, public water supply, etc)?Is there a local group formed already?Is the area small enough to have a sense of “community”?
36 Things to Consider When Defining Area (continued) What is the balance between available resources and conservation needs.Will what the group is willing to do adequately address the problem?
37 RecommendationsMake sure you have adequate financial and technical assistance resources to ensure success.Keep Project sized appropriately to be able to show a difference with the available resources.Keep lines of communication open to all partners.