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Rapid Watershed Assessment

Rapid Watershed Assessments


The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is encouraging the development of rapid watershed assessments in order to increase the speed and efficiency generating information to guide conservation implementation, as well as the speed and efficiency of putting it into the hands of local decision makers.

Background Information

Rapid watershed assessments provide initial estimates of where conservation investments would best address the concerns of landowners, conservation districts, and other community organizations and stakeholders. These assessments help land-owners and local leaders set priorities and determine the best actions to achieve their goals.

These assessments are conducted by inventorying agricultural areas, identifying conservation opportunities and current levels of resource management, and estimating impacts of these opportunities on the local priority resource concerns.
Benefits of these Activities

While these rapid assessments provide less detail and analysis than full-blown studies and plans, they do provide the benefits of NRCS locally-led planning in less time and at a reduced cost. The benefits include:

  • Quick and inexpensive plans for setting priorities and taking action
  • Providing a level of detail that is sufficient for identifying actions that can be taken with no further watershed-level studies or analyses
  • Actions to be taken may require further Federal or State permits or ESA or NEPA analysis but these activities are part of standard requirements for use of best management practices (BMPs) and conservation systems
  • Identifying where further detailed analyses or watershed studies are needed
  • Plans address a full array of conservation program tools (i.e. cost-share practices, easements, technical assistance)

Delaware Rapid Watershed Assessments

the following Documents Require Microsoft Word Link to the Microsoft Word reader to download

Document Description Size
Microsoft Word Document Brandywine-Christina The Brandywine-Christina Watershed is located in Northeastern Delaware in portions
of New Castle and Kent counties. The watershed is 231,724 acres of which
approximately 24,780 are cropland.
(5 MB)
Microsoft Word DocumentBroadkill-Smyrna The Broadkill-Smyrna Watershed is located in East central Delaware in portions of
New Castle, Kent, and Sussex counties. The watershed is 406,029 acres of which
approximately 161,600 are cropland.
(5.3 MB)
Microsoft Word DocumentChester-Sassafras The Chester-Sassafras Watershed is located in Northwestern Delaware in portions
of New Castle and Kent counties. The watershed is 36,263 acres of which
approximately 14,600 are cropland.
(2.8 MB)

Location Map of the Rapid Assessment Watersheds

Location map of Rapid Response Watersheds in Delaware