Assessment Manuals & Approaches
Coast Watershed Assessment Program Methods Manual (State of California,
This manual describes the
approach and methods that are used to conduct watershed assessments
under the State of California’s North Coast Watershed Assessment
Program (NCWAP). It is focused on conditions affecting anadromous fish,
but it will compile and provide general data useful for other natural
resource planning and management functions. The purpose of the program
is to develop consistent, scientifically credible information to guide
landowners, agencies, watershed groups, and other stakeholders in their
efforts to improve watershed and fisheries conditions. The program provides
a process for collecting and analyzing information to answer a set of
critical questions designed to characterize current and past watershed
Watershed Assessment Manual (Watershed Professional Network, 1999)
This assessment method is
designed to be used by local citizen groups such as watershed councils
and soil and water conservation districts, with some assistance from
technical experts. It contains the information needed for a broad-scale
screening that can be used on any landscape in Oregon, from coastal
rain forest to Great Basin desert.
Watershed Analysis Manual (Washington Department of Natural Resources,
DNR's Watershed Analysis
Manual is a technical publication required by WAC 222-22. It is used
by qualified scientists to assess the condition of public resources
such as water quantity and quality and slope stability at specific sites.
Forest managers use these scientific assessments to develop site-specific
prescriptions that further regulate what forest practices may be carried
out in individual Watershed Administrative Units (WAUs) while still
protecting its public resources.
Area Watersheds Science Approach (San Francisco Estuary Institute, 1998)
The SFEI Watershed Science
Approach illustrates the useful knowledge that watershed analysis may
produce and points a direction in which watershed management might contribute
to societal views.
Analysis at the Watershed Scale -- The Federal Guide for Watershed Analysis
(August 1995) & Ecosystem Analysis at the Watershed Scale
Guide for Watershed Analysis - Section II - Analysis Methods and Techniques
These documents describe
the approaches the federal government (US Departments of Agriculture,
Interior, and Commerce) developed for the Northwest Forest Plan.
Assessment Primer (Euphrat and Warkentin, EPA, 1994)
This report describes the
basics of watershed assessment but the link is not the best in terms
Watershed Assessment Handbook (The Chesapeake Bay Programs
Chesapeake 2000 Watershed Commitments Taskforce, 2003)
The handbook describes a
step-wise procedure for organizing a watershed assessment including
a selection of questions to guide in the identification of concerns,
in gathering appropriate information, and in analyzing information to
ascertain possible causes for existing or potential problems.
Watershed Inventory Workbook for Indiana (Purdue Extension, 2002)
This manual is designed
for watershed partnerships and is intended to guide these groups through
the assessment process with examples of the types of information they
might want to collect in response to specific questions about water
quality in their watershed.
Stream Corridor Assessment Survey manual (Maryland Department of Natural
The Stream Corridor Assessment
(SCA) Survey manual is a tool that environmental managers can use to
quickly identify a variety of environmental problems within a watersheds
stream network. The survey is not intended to be a detailed scientific
survey nor will it replace the more standard chemical and biological
surveys. Instead, SCA is intended to provide a rapid method of examining
an entire drainage network so future monitoring, management and/or conservation
efforts can be better targeted.
Your Watershed (Conservation Technology Information Center, Purdue University)
This site offers a series
of "Watershed Guides" (select from list on left side of home
page) that together provide reasonable guidance for specific areas of
assessment and management. The material is intended for members of watershed
partnerships and provide good summaries for many issues in watershed
Watershed Assessment (Fischenich, USACE, 2000)
This technical note considers
watershed and reach reconnaissance techniques that possess the following
· Facilitate comparisons among sites
· Quick, yet scientifically valid
· Easily presented to the public
· Environmentally-benign procedures
Planning Guide (California Coastal Conservancy)
A guide to the planning
process - a checklist highlighting the common steps and ways to avoid
the common problems. It should be modified as much as necessary to fit
the particular circumstances of your watershed. It is not intended to
assist in identifying particular assessment tasks or protocols.
Watershed Management: Lessons from the National Estuary Program (NEP)
This EPA handbook is designed for
individuals and organizations involved in watershed management,
including states, tribes, local governments, and nongovernmental
organizations. This document describes innovative approaches to
watershed management implemented by the 28 National Estuary Programs (NEPs).
The NEPs are community-based watershed management organizations that
restore and protect coastal watersheds.
Vulnerability Analysis (Zielinski, Center for Watershed Protection, 2002)
The Watershed Vulnerability
Analysis was created primarily as a rapid planning tool for application
to larger watersheds, but also contains a refinement of the techniques
used in Rapid to delineate sub-watersheds, estimate current and future
impervious cover (and hence likely impacts to the sub-watersheds), as
well as providing guidance on factors that would alter the initial classification
or diagnosis of individual sub-watersheds. Examples of application of
the vulnerability analysis include instances where more than 15 or 20
sub-watersheds exist in a watershed or jurisdiction and it is necessary
to group and prioritize sub- watersheds for implementation and protection.
Practice of Watershed Protection (Center for Watershed Protection, 2000)
Impacts of urbanization
on water resources, with a focus on stormwater pollution, habitat and
biodiversity, are described in separate articles in the first section.
Eight tools to protect or restore aquatic resources in an urban or suburban
subwatershed, including watershed planning, are expanded upon in numerous
articles for the majority of this 750 page book. Most of the articles
were drawn from feature articles and technical notes in the CWP’s
Watershed Protection Techniques, which has served as a forum to exchange
ideas, data and experience about practices that work (and don’t
work) and to promote the science of urban watersheds since 1994.
Watershed Planning Handbook (Center for Watershed Protection, 1999)
This comprehensive, practical
manual provides an excellent guide to creating an effective watershed
plan quickly and cheaply. Geared towards watershed planning professionals,
Rapid Watershed Planning contains everything needed to develop a cost-effective
watershed plan, including management options, analysis tools, and case
studies of real-world watershed plans. Includes practical techniques
for crafting an effective plan as well as guidance on plan mapping,
monitoring, and modeling techniques.
Ecological and Economic Modeling in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
As part of an EPA/NSF funded
project the investigators have developed an integrated, spatially-explicit
model of the Patuxent watershed, MD. They are also expanding and applying
this model to the Gwynns Falls watershed in urban Baltimore as part
of the NSF funded Baltimore Urban LTER project. These models and their
associated data bases give a unique capability to test various policy
scenarios and ecosystem restoration options at the whole watershed scale,
for both a largely rural/suburban watershed (the Patuxent) and a largely
urban/commercial watershed (Gwynns Falls).