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Rapid Watershed Assessment

Rapid Watershed Assessments
NRCS New York has completed 53
Rapid Watershed Assessments
and has made them available online.

Rapid Watershed Assessments (RWA) 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 landowners and local leaders set priorities and determine the best actions to achieve their goals. Each assessment provides a description of the sub-basin’s natural resources, resource concerns, and conservation needs. Rapid Watershed Assessments typically contain the following information:

  • Physical Resources
  • Land Use and Land Cover
  • Water Quality Conditions Report
  • Soil, Stream, Precipitation Data
  • Resource Concerns
  • Census and Social Data
Map of New York Watershed Profiles. Click image for full screen view
Status of Watershed Profile Completion

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Benefits of Rapid Watershed Assessments

  • 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, Endangered Species Act (ESA) or National Environmental Policy Act (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 multiple objectives and concerns of landowners and communities Plans are based on established partnerships at the local and state levels
  • Plans enable landowners and communities to decide on the best mix of NRCS programs that will meet their goals
  • Plans include the full array of conservation program tools (i.e. cost-share practices, easements, technical assistance)Service Center Locator