Watershed Planning and Planning Tools


Watershed-based planning helps address the diffuse nature of NPS pollution in a holistic approach by fully assessing potential causes and sources of pollution, then prioritizing restoration and protection strategies to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) to improve water quality.

The EPA identified nine (9) minimum elements as the primary planning framework for Section 319 watershed projects that restore impaired waters:

  1. Identify the causes and sources of pollution that need to be controlled;
  2. Estimate load reductions needed to meet water quality standards;
  3. Describe management measures and targeted critical areas needed to achieve identified load reductions;
  4. Estimate technical and financial assistance needed;
  5. Develop an information and education component;
  6. Develop a project schedule;
  7. Describe interim, measurable milestones;
  8. Identify indicators to measure progress; and
  9. Develop a monitoring component.

Colorado Watershed Plans 

A GIS map of Colorado’s watershed-based plan coverage as well as links to each watershed plan is available here:  Pending watershed plans are also identified below. 

Colorado's Watershed Based Plans

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