Service, USDA - Consolidated Farm Services Agency, USDA - Extension Service, National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Soil and Water Conservation District.
If adequate information about the problem and its source(s) has not already been collected, seek
technical and financial assistance in designing a water quality monitoring program. Relevant
state and federal programs are discussed in the section entitled Obtain Funding.
An effective approach to identifying the exact nature of the problem and its source(s) is to
implement a problem identification and assessment monitoring program lasting from six to 18
months. Monitor sites suspected of contributing pollutants or stressors during both baseflow and
storm conditions, especially during the seasons when the highest amount of the pollutant enters
the water and during the season when water quality problems have been noticed. For example, in
winter and spring there is often a great deal of runoff which carries nutrients, sediment, and other
pollutants. A walk through the watershed may help identify problem areas with regard to habitat.
Creel surveys can identify fishery problems.
Before initiating a project, write a problem statement that: 1) states what the impaired water use
is, 2) identifies the location of the problem, 3) specifies the pollutant(s) or stressor(s), and 4)
identifies the major or suspected source(s). A written problem statement documents the problem
for future reference and clearly conveys the problem and source to participants and community
members, thereby contributing to consensus about the problem and the approach being taken to
Define Objectives and Goals
Well-defined objectives and goals clearly convey the purpose of the project to potential
participants and the public. Objectives and goals also provide a basis for evaluating the project.
Objectives define the overall direction or purpose of the project. Establish objectives that focus
the project on achieving water quality changes or meeting water quality standards. Be sure that
objectives are measurable and achievable. For example, a workable objective might be "re-
opening shellfish beds in Green Creek estuary by 1998."
Goals provide milestones to be met during the course of a project. Establish quantitative goals
that provide a way to measure progress. For example, progress toward the goal "reduce the
phosphorus load to Blue Reservoir by 45%" can be measured, while achievement of the goal
"reduce pollution in the reservoir" is more difficult to evaluate. Set specific goals early with
assistance from local agencies, project participants, and community representatives.
Objectives and goals must be tailored to available resources and to the nature of the problem. For
example, expecting to reduce eutrophication in a reservoir when the project watershed supplies
only 10% of the phosphorus load is unrealistic, as is a goal of reducing nutrient loss from a
500,00-acre watershed with 1,200 producers when resources consist of a ,000 budget and two
Involve the Community