WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH GRANT PROPOSAL
Project ID: MI2581
Title: Legal, Financial, and Institutional Frameworks for Watershed Planning and Management
Focus Categories: Water Quality, Management and Planning
Keywords: Planning, Watershed Management, Water Quantity, Water Quality
Start Date: 03/01/2001
End Date: 02/28/2002
Federal Funds: $15,353
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $31,497
Congressional District: 8
Elaine M. Brown
Professional Staff, Michigan State University
Karen E. Vigmostad
Research Associate, Michigan State University
Successful remediation and prevention of water quality problems depends on action at the local level that considers land use impacts in a watershed context. Individual landowners and even local governments may take action to protect a lake or river on their own. However, actions lacking a watershed approach often cannot resolve the problem. This can lead to an inefficient use of time and resources, and discourage future action. Once water quality problems occur, a planning process is an essential tool to create a strategy to identify the sources of pollution, prioritize resources, and craft solutions.
Unfortunately, despite the importance of watershed planning, there is no federal legislation to support comprehensive watershed planning. Some planning activities take place, but not in a comprehensive manner. At the state and local levels, drain code laws address water quantity but not necessarily quality issues. Local watershed councils rarely have funds or time to do comprehensive planning. Local soil conservation districts have a distinct mandate that does not include comprehensive watershed planning.