- An inclusive and interactive development process
- Goals and objectives that produce measurable results
- A comprehensive implementation section that outlines the activities of numerous entities, not just the watershed management organization or watershed district.
Inclusive and interactive plan development process
There are many different approaches to getting public participation and the input of entities managing water and land resources. There is no best way or template to fit all situations. Some common approaches include:
A) Public Meetings
Many planning efforts conduct a number of public meetings to explain the planning process, the goals of the plan and to solicit input. All public meeting must be legally noticed (see sample) and conducted.
Maps or other materials that depict the resources (extent, condition, threats, etc) of the county are very helpful to have on hand at these meetings.
B) Workshops with Interest Groups:
- Hold a workshop for all interest groups in the watershed, or hold workshops for individual interest groups (e.g., lake associations, cities, etc). Ideas for effective workshops:
- There is well thought-out agenda (with realistic time frames) that achieves the goal for the meeting.
- The workshop is led by an individual who first and foremost is skilled at facilitation, and also understands water management issues.
- Make sure representatives selected to present the whole group’s ideas understand what you want them to communicate and how much time they will have.
- Summarize the information gathered at the meeting and distribute it to attendees.
C) Coordination with Other Units of Government
It is important for the WMO/WD to conduct meetings with other unit of governments to coordinate efforts. Focus communication and energy on the implementation portion of the plan. Agreements may be executed to establish responsibilities of various entities to implement the plan.
Understanding the range, scope, and context of relevant plans and controls in the watershed will help identify how this plan will interact with other authorities and plans:
- avoid duplication of actions, regulation and permitting;
- coordinate actions such as monitoring, data collection, education, and land treatment between plans and agencies where common goals and objectives exist;
- identify conflicts or inconsistencies with other plans or controls and develop a strategy to reconcile them;
- identify gaps between existing regulatory controls; and
- identify where the plan or control may be in conflict or overlap with what the county has or is proposing as part of its plan update.
Goals and objectives that result in measurable results
Measuring the results of programs developed through watershed management planning in straightforward ways is important. Unfortunately, too often measures of success are attached to long-term goals that make it difficult to show progress to the citizenry. Results-oriented objectives provide a framework to act and a method for measuring what the expenditure of tax dollars is accomplishing.
The following are examples of what is meant by result-oriented statements:
- Total effective impervious surface in within Stormy Creek will not exceed more than 20 percent when fully developed in 2030.
- Establish buffers at least 20 feet wide will be increased from 30 percent to on 70 percent of the streams with public frontage, and from 8 percent to 35 percent on stream frontage in private ownership by 2020.
- All of the cities in the watershed will have an erosion control ordinance for regulating construction sites by 2006. At a minimum, the ordinance must meet MPCA stormwater standards.
- 75 percent of the known feedlots in the watershed will be in compliance with MPCA rules by 2010.
Focus on implementation
When reviewing the plan for approval, BWSR looks closely at the implementation section (chapters 6 and 7 as described in M.R. 8410). This section should outline activities of numerous entities managing water resources in the watershed. It should clearly define:
- activities to be undertaken and their priority ranking;
- when the activity will commence and be completed;
- the anticipated total cost of the activity; and
- the anticipated cost to the WMO or WD.