Watershed Plan Development
Watershed plans provide the framework for effective implementation of best management practices (BMPs) as well as information and education activities (I&E) within watersheds to address the impaired waters in these areas. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified nine key elements that are to be included within watershed plans utilizing incremental Clean Water Act section 319 funds. In addition to incremental section 319 funded projects, nine elements are strongly encouraged by EPA to be included within all watershed plans that are developed to address water quality impairments. In Kansas, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is currently working with WRAPS projects statewide to ensure that watershed plan development incorporates EPA's nine elements. The key elements that are to be included in all KDHE-approved watershed plans are as follows:
- Identification of causes of impairment and pollutant sources or groups of similar sources that need to be controlled to achieve needed load reductions, and any other goals identified in the watershed plan.
- An estimate of the load reductions expected from management measures.
- A description of the nonpoint source management measures that will need to be implemented to achieve load reductions and a description of the critical areas in which those measures will be needed to implement the plan.
- Estimate of the amounts of technical and financial assistance needed, associated costs, and/or the sources and authorities that will be relied upon to implement the plan.
- An information and education component used to enhance public understanding of the project and encourage their early and continued participation in selecting, designing, and implementing the nonpoint source management measures that will be implemented.
- Schedule for implementing the nonpoint source management measures identified in the plan that is reasonably expeditious.
- A description of the interim measurable milestones for determining whether nonpoint source management measures or other control actions are being implemented.
- A set of criteria that can be used to determine whether loading reductions are being achieved over time and substantial progress is being made toward attaining water quality standards.
- A monitoring component to evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation efforts over time, measured against the criteria established under the previous element.