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EPA’s Nine Key Elements in Watershed Planning

For more detailed descriptions of each element, download the South Carolina Simplified Guide to Developing Watershed-Based Plans. You may also want to review EPA's Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters.

Element 1 - Causes/Sources of Pollution Identified

Identification of pollutant sources and their causes.

Element 2 - Expected Load Reductions for Solutions Identified  

Estimated load reductions from management measures identified in (c). (May also include overall pollutant reduction needed as found in a TMDL document.)

Element 3 - Nonpoint Source Management Measures Identified  

Management measures (Best Management Practices, or BMPs) needed in order to eliminate or control pollutant(s).

Element 4 - Technical and Financial Assistance  

Identification of funding and technical assistance needs as well as potential sources. Example: Watersheds with agricultural sources would most likely require the expertise of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service staff and could potentially utilize Environmental Quality Incentive Program funds for implementation.

Element 5 - Education and Outreach  

Outreach strategy that is targeted towards members of the public that are impacted by the project and the management measures from (c).

Element 6 - Implementation Schedule  

Timeline of implementation events that proceeds in a logical and efficient manner.

Element 7 - Milestones Identified  

List of milestones for keeping plan implementation progress on track.

Element 8 - Load Reduction Evaluation Criteria  

Criteria to determine if pollutants are being reduced and progress is being made toward attaining water quality standards, or if plan requires revision.    

Element 9 – Monitoring  

Monitoring strategy to determine effectiveness of plan implementation.