How Do You Develop a WPP?

Steps to Developing Watershed Protection Plans

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters, major steps in the watershed planning and implementation process include:

  1. Build Partnerships
    • Identify key stakeholders
    • Identify issues of concern
    • Set preliminary goals
    • Develop indicators
    • Conduct public outreach

  2. Characterize the Watershed
  3. Finalize Goals and Identify Solutions
    • Set overall goals and management objectives
    • Develop indicators/targets
    • Determine load reductions needed
    • Identify critical areas
    • Develop management measures to achieve goals

  4. Design an Implementation Program
    • Develop implementation schedule
    • Develop interim milestones to track implementation of management measures
    • Develop criteria to measure progress toward meeting watershed goals
    • Develop monitoring component
    • Develop information/education component
    • Develop evaluation process
    • Identify technical and financial assistance needed to implement plan
    • Assign responsibility for reviewing and revising the plan

  5. Implement Watershed Plan
    • Implement management strategies
    • Conduct monitoring
    • Conduction information/education activities

  6. Measure Progress and Make Adjustments
    • Review and evaluate information
    • Share results
    • Prepare annual work plans
    • Report back to stakeholders and others
    • Make adjustments to program

Lucas Gregory

Lucas Gregory, Ph.D., currently serves as associate director of research – physical sciences.


The Texas Water Resources Institute is offering two Watershed Planning Program trainings for watershed coordinators and other water professionals involved in watershed-based planning in Texas.