The RWA Process
To produce the assessments, quantitative and qualitative data is collected and organized to create a Watershed Resource Profile using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. The data is analyzed to allow resource concerns and conditions to become apparent, and to generate maps and information to help people make better decisions about conservation needs and programs. Most of the data for the assessments is collected through the National Land Cover dataset, NRCS' Natural Resources Inventory (NRI), Census of Agriculture, and various other local datasets.
This project also utilizes existing county, state, and federal planning products and resources. For example, Soil and Water Conservation District's "Land and Water Resource Management Plans" were used to identify the local resources concerns for the watersheds. These plans utilize local stakeholders and producers to document resource concerns within the county, typically on a sub-watershed basis. The plans also outline priorities to be addressed, and identify stakeholder groups, partners, and funding sources.
In Phase 2, we are developing assessment matrices. It summarizes, in tabular form, current resource conditions, conservation practices, and related maintenance costs. It also summarizes desired resource conditions, conservation opportunities, installation and maintenance costs, qualitative effects on primary resource concerns, and potential funding sources for conservation implementation.
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