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VERSION - 31 MARCH 2010

PLANNING GUIDANCE FRAMEWORK FOR
WATERSHED STUDY OF THE IOWA - CEDAR RIVERS BASIN

Table of Contents

  1. PURPOSE OF PLANNING GUIDANCE
  2. STUDY PURPOSE
  3. STUDY OBJECTIVES
  4. ORGANIZATION FOR COORDINATION AND COLLABORATION
  5. GEOGRAPHIC SCOPE AND ORGANIZATION
  6. AREAS FOR ASSESSMENT
  7. EVALUATION CRITERIA
  8. OUTPUTS
  9. LEVEL OF DETAIL
  10. STUDY PHASES

1. PURPOSE OF PLANNING GUIDANCE

This guidance is intended as a tool for integrating and focusing watershed planning efforts within the Iowa-Cedar Rivers Basin. Watershed planning is a collaborative effort among local interests, state and federal agencies and non-government organizations. Each participating entity will define its role and resource commitment consistent with its mission and authority. Watershed planning is locally driven within guidance developed through collaboration among participants. Planning guidance reflects state and federal policies for water and natural resources management.

2. STUDY PURPOSE

The purpose of this study is to formulate a comprehensive watershed plan and process for interagency collaboration to address water resource and related land resource problems and opportunities in the Iowa - Cedar Rivers Basin in the interests of increasing social and economic value, increasing ecological integrity, and managing risk.

This study is designed to complement and enhance watershed planning in the Iowa-Cedars Rivers Basin that is ongoing through many avenues.

3. STUDY OBJECTIVES

  • Develop a definitive vision for the watershed that addresses sustainable management of water and natural resources of the Iowa-Cedar Rivers Basin for multiple purposes; balances economic, environmental, and social values; and manages risk.
  • Formulate a watershed plan exemplifying the vision.
  • Develop a process for managing the Iowa-Cedar Rivers Basin through coordination, collaboration, and partnership toward achievement of the vision.
  • Develop a system for managing data and information.
  • Develop a process for ongoing public outreach and involvement.
  • Develop strategies for implementing the watershed plan.

4. ORGANIZATION FOR COORDINATION AND COLLABORATION

An organizational network is needed that facilitates locally driven watershed planning and action within a framework of policy and technical expertise provided by state and federal agencies and non-government organizations. An interagency team is envisioned as a support organization for locally driven planning by administering watershed planning activities and providing coordinated policy and technical support to the planning process. An integrated organizational network at multiple scales will facilitate locally driven watershed planning over the long-term. Alignment with the governor's office and legislative committee's is important in sustaining watershed planning and action. A decision support center is critical to effective communication.

The following list of organizational elements is representative of what will be needed to support development and execution of a watershed management plan and process:

  • Iowa Water Resources Coordinating Council (Governor's Office)
  • Iowa-Cedar Interagency Team
  • Organization for watershed management at a basin scale
  • Organization for watershed management at sub-basin scales (HUC8 & 12)
  • Other Collaborative Initiatives and Forums (e.g. Regional Flood Risk Management Team and Iowa Silver Jackets)
  • Decision Support Center

5. GEOGRAPHIC SCOPE AND ORGANIZATION

  • Iowa-Cedar Rivers Basin
  • HUC 8 Watersheds (9 exist within basin)
  • Select Micro-Watersheds (HUC12) for special study
  • Geographic Zones -

- Uplands - Include isolated low areas.

- Floodplains - Upper limit defined by the 0.2% (annual) flood.

- Lowlands - encompasses stream channels, floodways, high frequency floods, meander zones, and buffer zones. Upper limit defined by the xx% (annual) flood or requirements for buffers.

- Groundwater - encompasses groundwater influenced by actions within HUC 8 watershed.

6. AREAS FOR ASSESSMENT

1 Floodplain Management

2 Water Quantity and Allocation

3 Water Quality

4 Fisheries, Wildlife, and Native Vegetation

5 Water-Based Recreation

6 Urbanization

7 Agriculture

8 Energy Production

9 Cultural Resource Preservation

10 Watershed Management

7. EVALUATION CRITERIA

  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • Social

8. OUTPUTS

  • Watershed Vision, Goals, Objectives
  • Watershed Plans (exemplify VGO)
  • Implementation Strategies
  • Process for Watershed Management
  • Process for Public Outreach and Engagement
  • Decision Support System

9. LEVEL OF DETAIL

The study will result in a first generation watershed plan of action and processes and systems for ongoing watershed management within a reasonable timeline and at a reasonable cost. It will include location and scale of specific actions, but will not reach a feasibility level of planning and design for specific projects. Lessons from HUC12 Watersheds for Learning will role into planning and action plans going forward.

10. STUDY PHASES

Study phases are compatible with the Corps' six step planning process and the planning processes of other agencies. Activities within each phase may transcend phases and require iteration.

PHASE 1 - Initiate Study - Establish Goals and Objectives

PHASE 2 - Assess Current Conditions and Forecast Future Conditions (Without Plan)

PHASE 3 - Formulate and Evaluate Watershed Plan (Desired Future Conditions)

PHASE 4 - Develop Implementation Strategies

PHASE 5 - Identify and Develop Watersheds for Learning

PHASE 6 - Develop Process for Watershed Management

PHASE 7 - Develop Decision Support System

Details of the study phases and goals can be found here.