Watershed Planning is the Key to Long-Term Protection
Watershed planning is essential for managing a lakes health and ecosystem functions by identifying sources of pollution and activities that effect water quality. A watershed plan allows us to look at how much sediment reaches a lake, which land uses are contributing excess nutrients such as phosphorus into the water, what the watershed will look like when all available land is developed (build-out analysis) and most importantly, what actions can be taken to prevent further degradation to water quality. Watershed plans give us the tools to keep lakes clean!
AWWA’s approach to watershed planning follows the US Environmental Protection Agency’s nine element format (a-i) which qualifies the plan to receive government grants to help implement the recommendations. This comprehensive and collaborative process results in an effective tool for lake associations, local officials, residents, state officials, and nonprofit organizations to protect their water resources. With the support of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, AWWA and its partners have successfully put into practice many of the recommended action items.
By collaborating with these state agencies and local lake associations, AWWA helps develop Watershed Based Plans for the lakes in our region. AWWA implements these plans using our own programs and funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act Section 319 Grant Program. Watershed Plans help lake communities develop goals for their lake guide decision on which projects will have the biggest impact on protecting water quality.
AWWA continues to complete and update watershed surveys for the watersheds and lakes in our region. See below for resources specific to your favorite lake!