Watershed Action Planning
Watershed action planning (WAP) is a process for coordinating, documenting, and tracking strategies and activities to protect and improve water quality.
The WAP process can have significant implications for regional and local residents. Hence, the major objectives of WAP are to:
- engage stakeholders more fully in determining strategies that restore water quality.
- improve access to state agencies’ water quality management decisions and increase transparency of decision-making.
- improve accountability of state agencies’ commitments to improve water quality.
The WAP process coordinates planning and activities among the TCEQ, the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, the Texas Clean Rivers Program partners, and stakeholders at the watershed level.
A major product of the WAP process is a comprehensive strategy for protecting streams, lakes, or estuaries of special interest and improving the quality of impaired waterways.
That strategy is summarized in a Watershed Action Planning Strategy Table (July 2012) that lists:
- impaired and special-interest water bodies
- the recommended strategies to improve water quality in impaired segments or to protect water bodies of special interest
- the status of each strategy
- the lead agency and program for tracking each strategy.
The WAP process was established in 2011. The first WAP strategy table was produced late that same year. The strategy table will be updated as frequently as needed to meet the objectives of the evolving process and the people and agencies involved.
While developing the process and the first strategy table are important achievements, they represent only the first iteration in a complex cycle of continuous improvement. State agencies and stakeholders may need several rounds of revision and several years to refine the process until it is well established.
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