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Setting Goals for Stream “Health:” The Next Generation of Watershed Plans?. The Waterlands Group San Francisco Estuary Institute Aquatic Science Center. Historical Ecology, Watershed Science, Wetland Science, Information Technology. Why Stream Goals?.
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The Waterlands Group
San Francisco Estuary Institute
Aquatic Science Center
Historical Ecology, Watershed Science, Wetland Science, Information Technology
As physical systems, streams adjust themselves to efficiently covey water and sediment.
Stream conditions reflect the combined effects of nature and people on water and sediment regimes.
Goals could guide management of water and sediment regimes to optimize watershed performance across objectives through stable streams.
Each of the four major land use drivers can take streams and watersheds in very different directions
water and sediment filtering
water storage capacity
For any watershed, consider all the policies, programs, and projects for wildlife, clean water, flood control, and secure water supplies …
What do they add up to?
… project-by-project planning within the confines of this or that objective has not prevented over-allocation of water, chronic upstream degradation, chronic downstream aggradation, and ongoing declines in wildlife support.
A stream and its watershed are healthy when:
against which we can measure progress
Rather than planning to accommodate future water and sediment regimes by assuming that past trends in land use will continue …
or targeting historical regimes by assuming the past is better than the present …
allocate objectives within and among watersheds, decide what regimes are optimal for the objectives, and identify compatible land use practices.
The Goals Project concept turns watershed plans into watershed designs
For stream reaches, tributaries, and the watershed as a whole, the hydrograph and sediment regime become design specifications that can be monitored to assess design performance.
USEPA ORD and OWOW looking for Demonstration Watershed
Need consortium of local interests to win funding for “dry run” based on real conditions past and present .
Dry Run in demonstration watershed needed to identify needed participants, data, modeling, relation to existing policy, public outreach.