WRIA 1 DRAFT Watershed Management Project

Whatcom County, WA

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DRAFT Scope of Work

Go to DRAFT Executive Summary

Table of Contents DRAFT

Executive Summary



Technical Assessment




Early Action

1.0 Initiation

1.1 Background

Beginning in 1998 and continuing over the next few years, decisions will be made and plans developed and implemented regarding the water resources of the Nooksack River watershed and certain adjacent streams (Water Resources Inventory Area 1 or WRIA 1). These decisions and plans, along with the land use/resource management planning, and planning/projects in response to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing for Chinook salmon and bull trout, will largely determine the landscape, the environmental health, and the economic future of Whatcom County residents. Agencies of federal, tribal, state, and local governments are authorized to make these decisions. The state legislature, with agreements from federal agencies, provided an opportunity for watershed management decisions to be made locally.

In 1998 the State legislature passed Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2514, codified as RCW 90.82, known as the Watershed Management Act. The Act provides a framework to better understand the nature and extent of water resources issues and to locally plan and implement a variety of solutions to address those issues. More specifically, the Act requires the development and implementation of a Watershed Management Plan that:

  • Balances the competing resource demands in the watershed;
  • Provides for the economic well-being of the citizenry and community;
  • Protects existing water rights, is consistent with current law, and does not conflict with existing state statutes, federal laws including Endangered Species Act (ESA) recovery actions, tribal laws, and tribal treaty rights
  • Provides local citizens with the maximum possible input concerning their goals and objectives for water resource management and development.

Participation in the process is voluntary. In May 1998, Whatcom County, the City of Bellingham, and the Public Utility District decided to engage in the process with the County acting as lead agency. After a Memorandum of Agreement was signed by these three local governments and the Lummi Nation, both of the tribal governments joined the process. The Memorandum of Agreement further defines the project objectives, participants, and the decision-making process Since that time funding (grant and other) has been obtained, resources have been allocated, and actions are underway based on requirements of the law, subsequently signed contracts and agreements, and input from the local community.

The decision to engage in the Watershed Management Process was made because of the increasing number of water problems the community is facing. Satisfying competing demands for the finite water resources in WRIA 1 poses a host of interconnected, serious challenges that now threaten to have a variety of negative impacts to our environment and our economy. While this challenge has been recognized for years, the need to address these challenges has now become imperative.

The demands for water include the needs of fish for sufficient water in streams (known as instream flow) to enable migration and propagation. Since some local fish populations have been listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, we must find a means to ensure that there is sufficient water available for fish, or face federal sanctions. Meanwhile, a growing human population means growing demands for water for farming, homes, businesses, and industries -- demands that are largely going unmet, which in turn is limiting economic development.

The quality of our water is also a problem. Human activities affect both surface and ground water quality and have lowered water quality below that necessary for people and for fish in some areas.

The immediate challenge is to collect or generate sufficient information upon which to base rational water resource management decisions. We don't know how much water naturally occurs throughout the year, how much water is represented by both state and federal (including tribes) water rights and claims, how much water is already allocated, or how much additional water, if any, is available for other uses. In addition, the extent to which water under the ground and water in streams is interconnected varies throughout the watershed and represents both a water resource management challenge and opportunity.

Because all elements of the watershed management project -- quantity, quality, habitat and instream flow -- are physically, chemically, and biologically interconnected geographically throughout WRIA 1, any successful management plan needs to address all of these components.

Because water resource issues and policies are both complex and contentious, a collaborative decision making model appears to hold the greatest promise for developing a sustainable water resource management plan. This collaborative effort must be conducted in a manner that does not violate the government-to- government principles of Indian nations and tribes in WRIA 1.

In March 1999, an initial draft and incomplete scope of work was developed by the Initiating Governments. The initial draft identified a number of actions required by law that could be acted on while obtaining further input from the general public, Planning Unit, and others. The initial draft was presented to the public and Planning Unit when they began meeting in June. The Planning Unit recommended a number of modifications of the initial draft. This revised draft incorporates those recommendations, adopted agreements and contracts, requirements of the Watershed Planning Act, and suggestions from the "Guide to Watershed Planning and Management". These documents are referenced throughout this draft by a number such as (1), (2), etc. The specific documents which are referenced by these numbers are included in the references at the end of this scope of work. 1.2 Scope of the Watershed Planning Project 1.2.1 Geographic

The geographic scope of project is Water Resource Inventory Area 1 (figure to be added). This area includes the drainage area of the Nooksack River and its tributaries, including portions of Skagit County which are drained by the South Fork of the Nooksack River. The area also includes the U.S. portions of the Abbotsford-Sumas Aquifer and the Sumas River drainage that extend into British Columbia. In addition, the study area includes several coastal drainages which drain water into marine waters along the coastline of Whatcom County, Included in the latter is the Lake Whatcom drainage because of its key role in local water supplies for the City of Bellingham.

1.2.2 Issues The scope of issues that may be addressed under the Act must include water quantity, but may also include water quality, instream flows, and habitat. The Initiating Governments have chosen to address all four components in the WRIA 1 Watershed Management Project as they are inseparable.

1.2.3 Time Frame Under the Watershed Planning Act, a proposed plan that has been approved by the Planning Unit must be submitted to the County within four years of the date that the Planning Unit first received funding. For proposed WRIA 1 the plan must be submitted by June 30, 2002. Implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the Plan will continue indefinitely into the future.

1.2.4 Affected Parties

It is understood that all federal, state, and local governments with jurisdiction, as well as all types of private water resource interests and their customers, clients, and members are affected parties. Essentially, this scope includes the entire population of Whatcom County, and all of its commercial and other corporate entities. It has been determined, however, that it is the best interest of all affected parties that the membership of the WRIA 1 Planning Unit, as defined by the Act, shall consist of the Initiating Governments (Whatcom County, City of Bellingham, PUD1, Lummi Nation, and Nooksack Tribe), other governments (state agencies, federal agencies, small cities, diking/drainage districts, and water districts) and Water Resource Interests caucuses (fishers, agriculture, non-municipal water systems, forestry, environmental, land development, and private well owners, and). It is extremely important that early on and throughout this process there is a clear understanding of the extent to which the issues and interests of the governments and water resource interests be addressed. Although the SOW and goals/purposes have been written in a manner that attempts to recognize those needs, each interest group will be responsible for ensuring that as the Project progresses its interests are being met.

1.3 Implementation Strategy for Scope of Work

The purpose of this scope of work is to outline the general process, strategy and actions necessary to address water resource issues in WRIA 1, including the actions taken to date. It provides the framework from which more detailed work plans will be developed and implemented. These work plans will include goals/objectives, specific tasks, budgets, who will implement, work products, and schedules. Specific tasks should be clearly linked to the requirements specified in the RCW, MOAs, contracts, or other agreed upon documents (5). A distinction should be made if proposed actions exceed the minimum requirements (5). In some cases, particularly for technical information, work plans should include design parameters such as time step, probable error, and expected contribution to satisfying specific information needs (5). Some of this may not be known until the work plans are implemented. The standard established in the MOA is best available science.

In many cases, specific work plans will be developed and implemented under the guidance of Technical Teams. Technical Teams will generally be composed of representatives from the Initiating Governments and Planning Unit or their designees, and other technical experts. The Technical Teams will report to and receive direction from the Initiating Governments and Planning Unit. The Technical Teams may choose to develop and implement specific work plans themselves or they may recommend that community members, private consultants and/or government agencies such as USGS/others assist. Once work plans are approved, consistent with the March 1999 "Administrative Decision-makers and the Staff Team Roles and Operating Procedures", updates will be provided to both groups on a regular basis.

In some cases, actions and strategies may be developed without the use of Technical Teams. In those situations, a similar review process will be followed with review and input provided by both the Initiating Governments and the Planning Unit.

1.3 Planning Unit

Under the Watershed Planning Act the Initiating Governments are charged with, among other things, defining the composition of the Planning Unit. In March 1999, the Planning Unit composition was defined in the administratively adopted "Structure and Function" document. Since that time the Planning Unit has formed with water resource interests and other participants identified.

Implementation Strategy/Status

The Initiating Governments are developing a new flow chart that will clarify the role of the Planning Unit. The Flow Chart will be brought to the Planning Unit for input after the revised version is completed. .

Table of Contents DRAFT

Executive Summary



Technical Assessment




Early Action

2.0 Phase 1 - Organization of the Watershed Planning Project

The organizational phase outlines the general information and actions needed to support the technical assessment, solutions evaluation, plan development, and implementation strategy.

2.1 Goal/ Purpose of the Watershed Management Project

The goals/purposes of the WRIA 1 Watershed Management Project are defined by the RCW and other legal agreements such as the intergovernmental MOA signed in October 1998. In addition, the local interests and needs of the public participating in the project have also shaped the project goals. As the project evolves and new information is obtained, these interests/needs may be modified. A summary of the public interests is provided in Appendix G.

2.1.1 General Purpose/Goals of the Watershed Management Project

In general, the goal of the WRIA 1 Watershed Management Project is to ensure that water resources are managed wisely to provide habitat for native fish and wildlife of sufficient quantity and quality to ensure a harvestable surplus and to have water of sufficient quantity and quality to meet the needs of current and future human generations.

2.1.2 Goals of the Watershed Management Project Components

More specifically, the Project will address the following specific goals/purposes for each of the four elements identified in the Watershed Management Act and the intergovernmental MOA: The approach used in this project will explicitly recognize that the four project components are interconnected to a high degree. Actions intended to affect change in one element may affect one or more of the elements,. The approach will capitalize on the interrelationships between the four identified project elements by systematically integrating the data collection and analysis efforts. The effort will be coordinated with other resource management efforts such as land use/resource planning, flood management, Salmon Recovery Project (NEAT/2496), and a myriad of other similar efforts.

  • Water Quantity: The goal of the water quantity component is to assess water supply and use and to develop strategies to meet current and future needs (1). The strategies should supply water in sufficient quantities to satisfy the minimum instream flows for fish, to provide water for future out-of-stream uses and to ensure that adequate water supplies are available for agriculture, energy production, and population and economic growth under the requirements of the state's growth management act (1).
  • Water Quality: The goal of the water quality component is to ensure that the quality of our water is sufficient for current and future uses, including sustaining harvestable surpluses of native fish and wildlife and providing adequate domestic water supplies. The goal is to ensure that the water quality standards for the designated uses of each water body are achieved (3).
  • Instream Flow: The goal of the instream flow component is to supply water in sufficient quantities to satisfy the minimum instream flows for fish (1).
  • Fish Habitat: The goal of the fish habitat component is to protect or enhance fish habitat in the management area (1) and promote the restoration of naturally reproducing sustainable populations of salmonids.

2.2 Criteria for Evaluating Proposed Solutions

In order to achieve the above goals, the WRIA 1 Watershed Management Project will develop a watershed management plan that identifies specific actions to address the water resource problems identified. It is anticipated that during the plan development, specific alternatives and recommendations will be considered. Specific criteria will be developed to assist in selecting the best alternatives. The following criteria are provided by the Guidance Manual and should be considered when establishing the criteria:

Effectiveness Criteria

  • Overall Effectiveness - Among the alternatives considered, which do the best job of addressing the issue at hand?
  • Cost Effectiveness - Which alternatives deliver "the most bang for the buck", even if they do not completely address the issues of interest?
  • Flexibility Over Time -Which solutions offer the ability to be readily modified over time, in response to changing conditions and incoming information?
  • Potential Side Effects - Do some of the potential solutions appear to create new problems, or exacerbate exiting problems?
  • Equity Considerations-What are the differing effects on various groups and economic activities in the Management Area?

Feasibility Criteria

  • Legal Authority - Do the implementing organizations have the authority to implement the proposed solution? If not, can ordinances or rules be adopted to provide that authority?
  • Approvals/permits - What approvals or permits will be required, especially by organizations not represented on the planning unit. Are those approvals or permits likely to be granted?
  • Cost and Funding Sources -How expensive is each alternative, and who will bear the cost? Will funding sources be available, both in the short-term and long-term?
  • Administration and Staffing -What organization will administer each solution? Do they have the capabilities to do the job? Will additional staff be required?
  • Integration with Related Program -How will each solution fit in with related programs and plans?
  • Acceptability - Are solutions acceptable to participants, elected officials, and key outside organizations (e.g. NMFS)?
Implementation Strategy/Status

2.3 Sub-basin Delineation and Prioritization

The Watershed Management Act requires that watershed planning be conducted for management areas consisting of one or more WRIAs. This does not require, however, that equal resources or focus be devoted to all areas within the management area. Within each WRIA, there may be sub-basins that have differing priorities for technical assistance and management actions.(7)

The entire WRIA is being evaluated in the WRIA 1 Watershed Management Project. Consistent with basic principals of effective watershed management, sub-basins are being delineated within the WRIA. The sub-basins will serve as geographic areas to gather and analyze information, solutions, and management actions. Prioritization of work by sub-basins will be considered as the planning process progresses and more information is obtained.

Many different sub-basin delineations have been completed previously by different organizations and planning efforts in WRIA 1. The USGS is developing a sub-basin map of WRIA 1 as part of their Phase I contract. The USGS delineations will be considered in selecting appropriate sub-basins. The delineations will allow for changes and flexibility in designations as field verifications are completed and management implications are considered.

Implementation Strategy/Status

2.4 Linkage/Coordination with Existing and Potential Programs

A critical and required element of the watershed planning effort is to effectively use limited resources. To preclude a "reinvention of the wheel" and to avoid potential conflicts, the project participants will review, build upon, and coordinate with historic and current data, regulations, and program.(1,2). Tracking and providing input to potential new local, state, or federal regulations and programs that could affect the planning effort will also be conducted.

Historic, current, and potential new data, regulations, and programs should be considered in order to (7):

  • Coordinate data collection efforts - data collection is occurring through many different programs. The quality (accuracy) of this data needs to be evaluated and this information should be used wherever possible prior to collecting additional data. When additional data is collected, efforts should be made to ensure that all parties needing the data are involved in the design of the data collection efforts and in ensuring that the quality is acceptable for all anticipated uses.
  • Understand potential constraints on management options that may exist due to local, state, and federal requirements. The watershed plan under the Watershed Management Act does not supersede other federal, state, or local requirements. However, a well-done watershed plan can provide a framework for state, local, or federal agencies to modify existing or pending actions.
  • Coordinate potential funding. In some cases one or more programs may need the same information that is needed for the watershed planning effort. Costs may be significantly reduced by adequate coordination with other programs.
  • Consider appropriate implementation tools. In some cases, solutions may be best achieved by modifications to existing programs.
  • Determine how to handle proposed new actions that could affect the watershed plan. During the course of the watershed planning effort it is certain that new local, state, federal actions may be proposed. A strategy for ensuring that these new actions are coordinated with the 2514 process is needed.

Some examples of the many programs and activities that need to be considered in developing a coordination strategy include: County-wide Planning Policies; Comprehensive Plans; Coordinated Water System Plans; Drinking Water Source Protection Plans; Shoreline Programs; Shellfish Protection Plans; Stormwater Programs; Groundwater Management; education and technical assistance programs, Salmon Recovery Plans; Instream Flow regulations; Critical Area regulations, and Flood Hazard Management Strategies.

Implementation Strategy/Status

2.5 Information/ Data Management Program

An important part of the Watershed Management Project is to establish a program to assist in the collection, storage, maintenance, retrieval, analysis, distribution, and display (e.g. maps, and charts) of the information obtained. A Geographic Information System (GIS) will be a fundamental tool for organizing and displaying collected data. Additional elements that will be considered in developing the data management program include:

  • Hardware requirements and availability as in-kind contributions (4)
  • Software requirements (4)
  • Staffing needs and availability as in-kind contributions (4)
  • Techniques for providing remote access via Internet or other means (4)
  • Quality Assessment/Quality Control
  • Glossary (5)
  • Coordination as appropriate with other data bases
  • Consistency with Ecology requirements as noted in contract (2)
Implementation Strategy/Status

2.6 Public Education/Involvement Program

One of the purposes of the Watershed Management Act is to provide local citizens with the opportunity for maximum possible input concerning their goals and objectives for water resource management and development. (1) In order to achieve this purpose it is necessary to provide a mechanism for citizens to understand the process, translate technical documents into layperson terms, help citizens to understand the complex technical and policy issues that will be addressed through the planning effort, and provide opportunities for meaningful and substantive input. One of those opportunities is through participation on the Planning Unit but others are needed as well.

In recognition of the critical importance of public involvement and education in the process, the Initiating Governments early in the process endorsed a conceptual plan for public involvement and education. The adopted goal of the plan was to:

  • Provide numerous opportunities for constructive public participation in the Watershed Management Project;
  • Assist and support the public involvement process under NEPA and SEPA; Build incremental understanding of issues and throughout each of the phases of the planning process and, through this understanding, foster widespread community understanding of the final watershed management plan.
Implementation Strategy/Status

2.7 Process Flow Control Protocol

The WRIA 1 watershed planning process, and the implementation of the action elements thereof, shall be executed in a specific sequence of steps that have been established in order to maximize the chances of the plan's success. The sequence embodies and employs the principles of adaptive management. The sequence shall apply to each plan element for each sub-basin and each plan component.

The process flow sequence is diagramed in the WRIA 1 Watershed Planning Process Flow sequence Diagram (flow chart to be added later).

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Executive Summary



Technical Assessment




Early Action

3.0 Phase 2 - Technical Assessment/Analysis of Water Quantity, Quality, Instream Flows, and Habitat

3.1 Problem Definition/Analysis

3.1.1 Purpose

The purpose of the problem assessment phase is to gather, analyze, and evaluate data to clearly understand the nature, conditions, and extent of problems and/or desired outcomes for each project component.

3.1.2 General Approach

The assessment results will be used to develop the most effective solutions that meet the project goals. Data will be collected that is necessary to enable an assessment of current conditions and an understanding of the causal factors underlying these conditions. The collected data and analysis will enable direct action to manage those factors to achieve desired outcomes.

3.1.3 Tools and Methods

The best available science, including state-of-the-art analytical methodologies will be employed in the WRIA 1 Watershed Planning process (3). Mathematical models and computer simulations will likely play a key role in the assessment and evaluation of information.

3.1.4 Data Collection Existing Data

Information gathering for each of the program components will be an iterative process starting with the collection and assessment of what is already known through existing studies, programs, and input from individuals and groups. Field Research

As data gaps and new information needs are identified they will be collected, assessed, and evaluated. Data gathering will extend over a number of years and will continue beyond the adoption of the Plan. Routine Monitoring

Long-term routine monitoring and analysis will be needed to evaluate project success and ensure that goals are met (4). Catalog of Project Actions

All watershed projects, including those underway prior to the adoption of the WRIA 1 Watershed Management Plan, shall be cataloged and incorporated into the WRIA 1 watershed management database. Water Quantity

At a minimum the following information and analyses will be collected and evaluated for water quantity:

  • Estimate the amount of surface and groundwater present (1);
  • Estimate the amount of Surface and groundwater actually being used in the WRIA (1);
  • Conduct a depletion analysis to accurately estimate the spatial and temporal uses of water in the WRIA throughout the year (2,3);
  • Estimate the amount of water represented by claims in the water rights claims registry, water use permits, certificated rights, existing minimum instream flow rules, federally reserved rights, and any other rights to water (1); Use the best available science to make reliable estimates of the tribal water rights for both instream and out-of-stream uses (2,3);
  • Identify the most senior instream and out-of-stream water rights in the WRIA and the next most senior rights in turn based on the priority date of existing water right holders (3);
  • Estimate future water needs (1);
  • Estimate the amount of surface and groundwater available taking into consideration seasonal and other variations (1,2,3);
  • Estimate the amount of surface and groundwater available [to junior users and (3)] for further appropriation taking into account [seasonal and other variations (1,2,3)] and the minimum instream flows adopted by rule or to be adopted by rule under the RCW for streams in the management area including the data necessary to evaluate necessary flows for fish (1,2,3);
  • Estimate the total amount of water available in an undepleted condition (3);
  • Identify location of areas where aquifers are known to recharge surface bodies of water and areas known to provide for the recharge of aquifers from the surface (1);
  • Contract with USGS to collect streamflow data throughout the watershed for the multi-year [10 year (3)] effort (2);
  • Estimate climate data (precipitation, evapotranspiration) at representative locations in the WRIA (2,3);
  • Evaluate existing land use/land cover data for its suitability in making water resource related decisions (2,3);
Implementation Strategy/Status

Using the above information, a Water Quantity Technical Team should be formed and charged with developing a detailed work plan to meet the component goal and address the informational needs specified previously. The strategy should include an initial compilation and assessment of existing data (much of which has been done). The Team should evaluate the approach detailed in the previous draft scope of work and the comments/concerns submitted by the Non-municipal Water System Caucus (including definitions/interpretations of key terms, and specific recommendations, interpretations, questions, etc.). Water Quality

Water quality will be assessed in two sections, surface and groundwater (5), where appropriate. Information collected and analyzed must include:

  • Legally established characteristic uses of each of the nonmarine water bodies in the management area (1);
  • An examination based on existing studies of the degree to which legally established water quality standards are being met (1);
  • An examination based on existing studies of the causes of water quality violations, including an examination of information regarding pollutants, point and nonpoint sources of pollution, and pollution-carrying capacities of water bodies in the management area. The analysis should take into account seasonal stream flow or level variations, natural events, and pollution from natural sources that occurs independent of human activities (1);
  • An examination of any total maximum daily load established for nonmarine bodies of water in the management area, unless a total maximum daily load process has begun in the management area as of the date the watershed planning process is initiated under RCW.82.060 (1);
  • Conduct the necessary data collection and analysis to estimate TMDLs for fecal coliform (in progress), temperature, [BOD (3)], sediment, and other water quality attributes of concern in order to ensure water quality standards are being achieved (2); and
  • an examination of existing data related to the impact of fresh water on marine water quality (1)
    Implementation Strategy/Status Instream Flows

    Instream flows were established for WRIA 1 by the Department of Ecology in 1986. Over the years many questions have been raised as to whether the methods used to establish those flows adequately do so - particularly in light of advances in science over subsequent years. The Watershed Management Act provides an opportunity for modifications to established instream flows if agreed to by the parties specified in the act.

    Implementation Strategy/Status

    A Technical Team will be established to develop a recommendation for how to proceed with respect to instream flows. Fish Habitat

    Coordinate with salmon recovery effort to 1) develop information that summarizes current and historic fish habitat and populations, and 2) evaluates physical, biological, and chemical processes in terms of good habitat, and 3) evaluates factors limiting current finfish and shellfish populations throughout WRIA 1.

    Implementation Strategy/Status

    3.2 Assessment

    For each plan component within each sub-basin, an assessment of conditions and extent of problems shall be undertaken once sufficient data has been collected to enable such assessment.

    3.2.1 Establish Criteria for Evaluation of Success

    For each component and within each sub-basin, specific measurable objectives shall be established, objectives the achievement of which shall mean that the overall goals for the component have been achieved. These objectives shall provide the stopping point for the actions set forth under the watershed plan:

    3.2.2 Assessment

    For each component within each sub-basin, a comparison shall be made between existing conditions and the established objectives. Where negative gaps exist between objectives and conditions, corrective action shall be taken. The end product of the assessment phase is the identification of the specific locations where corrective actions are needed, and the type and extent of the problems that need such corrective action.

    3.2.3 Define Monitoring Protocols

    Prior to leaving the assessment phase, protocols shall be established to provide specific guidance for collecting the data sets that shall be used to monitor the effectiveness of corrective actions.

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    Executive Summary



    Technical Assessment




    Early Action

    4.0 Watershed Management Plan

    4.1 Generate and Evaluate Solutions/Alternatives

    As with the problem assessment, the identification and evaluation of solutions will be an incremental/iterative process building upon recommendations from previous planning efforts and considering existing laws, programs, and other efforts.. Information obtained under Section 2.4 - Linkage and Coordination, should be used to help identify existing/previous efforts. Solutions shall not be added that obligates a particular governments unless that governments has at least one representative on the Planning unit and the respective members appointed to represent those governments agree to adding the element that creates the obligation (1). In addition, at a minimum the following alternatives/solutions will be considered:

    Water Quantity:

    Strategies that will be considered for increasing water supplies will include but are not limited to; conservation, water reclamation and reuse, , voluntary water transfers, aquifer recharge and recovery, additional water allocations, and additional water storage and water storage enhancements (1).

    Water Quality:

    The planning process needs to develop a recommended approach for implementing the TMDL established for achieving compliance with water quality standards unless a TMDL process has begun in the WRIA as of the date the watershed planning process is initiated under RCW 90.82.060 (1).

    Instream Flow:

    Aside from establishing or modifying existing instream flows, no specific strategies are specified in the Act for meeting the goal of ensuring that water is available in sufficient quantities to satisfy the minimum instream flows for fish. This is an area where there is tremendous opportunity for creative solutions because existing information shows that existing instream flow requirements are not satisfied in certain areas on many occasions throughout the year.

    Fish Habitat:

    The specific strategy that will be implemented for the fish habitat component is to coordinate and integrate analysis and assessment with other salmon recovery and management efforts.

    Information collected in Section 2.4 - Linkage/Coordination will be used to assist in identifying alternatives. Criteria developed in Section 2.2 - Criteria for Evaluating Success will be used to help identify recommended solutions.

    Implementation Strategy/Status

    4.2 Select Best Solutions

    For each component within each sub-basin, using the criteria developed in Section 2.2, the various solutions developed in 5.1 shall be sorted and those solutions with the most promise shall be selected for incorporation into the Watershed Management Plan.

    4.3 Assemble Plan

    The Watershed Plan outlined by the Watershed Planning Act requires a plan be written, however, it does not prescribe the exact contents or form of the plan (4). The outline below shall be followed for general format; although it may be modified as the project progresses. The outline follows the one recommended in the Guidance Manual with some modifications.

    Cover letter-recommending plan to various legislative authorities and others as needed

    Executive Summary

    Introduction and Background

    • Goals/objectives of Planning
    • Scope
    • Key Issues addressed
    • Relationship to other programs and planning
    • Conformance with SEPA/NEPA

    Planning Process

    • Initiating Governments
    • Planning Unit Participants
    • Public Involvement Process and documentation of SEPA/NEPA integration
    • Problem and Issue definition
    • Method of Decision-making

    Technical Assessment and Findings

    • Historical context
    • Existing data
    • New studies performed
    • Summary of Key findings
    • Overview of Technical Validation Process
    • Reference to complete studies or reports in appendices or elsewhere

    Alternatives Analysis

    • Water Quantity
    • Description of alternatives
    • Criteria applied
    • Recommended alternatives (ordinances, rules, technical assistance, education, funding, formal agreements, etc.)
    • Environmental Impact Analysis (SEPA linkage)
    • Water Quality
    • Description of alternatives
    • Criteria applied
    • Recommended alternatives (ordinances, rules, technical assistance, education, funding, formal agreements, etc.)
    • Environmental Impact Analysis (SEPA linkage)
    • Instream Flows
    • Description of alternatives
    • Criteria applied
    • Recommended alternatives (ordinances, rules, technical assistance, education, funding, formal agreements, etc.)
    • Environmental Impact Analysis (SEPA linkage)
    • Fish Habitat
    • Description of alternatives
    • Criteria applied
    • Recommended alternatives (ordinances, rules, technical assistance, education, funding, formal agreements, etc.)
    • Environmental Impact Analysis (SEPA linkage)

    Recommended Implementation Strategy

    • For each recommendation include who will implement action and why, integration with related programs/processes, funding and other resources needs including sources of funds, methods to implement and ensure compliance, and schedule;
    • Long-term data collection
    • Long-term organized institutional structure to ensure implementation, review progress, take corrective action, involve public, report to entities, and respond to new needs or information
    • Contingencies and process for cases where an organization designated for implementing a plan recommendation is unable or unwilling to do so
    • Monitoring and other measures to evaluate success


    • Recommendation of plan to legislative bodies and others as appropriate


    • MOAs or other agreements
    • Criteria used to evaluate alternative action plans
    • Dissenting opinions if applicable
    • Coordination Plan
    • Technical Documentation
    • Long-term data collection and management program
    • Implementation structure and responsibilities
    • Glossary of key terms (5)
    • Public processes required for SEPA/NEPA and other items as needed
    • Public written comments (including application to NEPA/SEPA)
    Implementation Strategy/Status
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    Technical Assessment




    Early Action

    5.0 Approval

    In order for a watershed plan to draw on the authority granted by the Watershed Management Act, it must be approved by county legislative authorities, using a specific process described in the law.

    Implementation Strategy/Status

    6.0 Implementation of the Watershed Plan

    One of the most important elements that will need to be considered is the implementation strategy for plan recommendations. Too often plans have been written but remain unimplemented. Issues related to actual implementation should be considered as the recommendations are being developed. The implementation strategy should consider the following:

    For each recommendation include:

    • Who the party(ies) is(are) that will carry out each element of the management plan, and the responsible individuals in each case where the party is a corporate entity;
    • Why each party was selected to perform that plan element;
    • Integration with related programs and processes;
    • Funding and other resource needs including whether funding is available and/or how the funding will be provided for each element of the plan;
    • What methods will be employed by each party to ensure their compliance with the requirements of the plan element(s) for which they are responsible;
    • What special relationships, rule changes, agreements, contracts, or other arrangements, if any, shall be established by or among the various parties involved in implementing the recommendation; and
    • Schedule for implementation recognizing actions that are time sensitive.
    • Long-term data collection
    • Long-term organized institutional structure to ensure implementation, review progress, take corrective action, involve public, report to entities, and respond to new needs or information
    • Contingencies and process for cases where an organization designated for implementing a plan recommendation is unable or unwilling to do so
    • Monitoring and other measures to evaluate success (1)
    Implementation Strategy/Status

    The collected data will be analyzed by comparing actual with expected results for the point in time at which the data is analyzed.

    If the comparison is favorable, the project will continue without modification. If the project is failing to achieve its objectives, the question needs to be answered, is the project being done improperly, that is , contrary to the specifications provided in the plan?

    If the answer is yes, then corrective action shall be taken by the implementing party(ies) to bring actions on the ground in line with project specifications.

    A negative answer to that question implies that the project specifications themselves, hence the plan element, has a flaw that must be corrected by returning to the planning process and amending the plan, based upon the results of the date analysis, using the process provided for in this document. The party (IES) responsible for reviewing and amending the plan should be specified by the plan prior to its initial completion.

    This implementation phase process flow sequence is depicted in the Watershed Management Process Flow Sequence Diagram, which will be added later).

    Table of Contents DRAFT

    Executive Summary



    Technical Assessment




    Early Action

    7.0 Early Action Projects and Activities

    The Watershed Management Act encourages the planning group to identify projects and activities that are likely to serve both short-term and long-term management goals and that warrant immediate financial assistance from the state, federal, or local government. If there are multiple projects, the planning group shall give consideration to ranking projects that have the greatest benefit and schedule those projects that should be implemented first (1).

    Steps and Criteria:

    • Determine scope of problem: location(s), affected parties, impacts;
    • Determine what, if anything, is being done to address the problem already, who is doing it, and evaluate effectiveness;
    • If there are multiple projects, rank projects that have the greatest benefit and schedule those projects first;
    • If existing action is working, PU simply issues recommendation of support;
    • If existing process isn't working, or nothing is being done, explore means to get it done;
    • Evaluate alternatives based upon criteria in Section 2.3 above;
    • Chart location(s), details of actions taken, and;
    • Monitor results
    Implementation Strategy/Status

    The following documents are referenced throughout this draft by their associated number. The purpose is to illustrate the relationship between the scope of work and regulatory/other requirements and agreements.

    (bibliography / appendices follow in the paper version)

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