What you can do.
- Check to see if there is an existing watershed partnership
working in your watershed.
(Use the search feature of the National Watershed Network.
If so, attend a meeting and get involved. If not, form a watershed group
representatives who work, live or "play" in the watershed
to assess the
watershed, put together a plan of action, and implement it. (To learn more, visit your
Conservation District or Natural Resources Conservation Service office. Or order a Starter
Kit by calling 765 494-9555.)
According to some state and regional regulators and water quality specialists; watershed
groups are proving important in developing and implementing strategies for pollution
reduction in streams and lakes that require TMDLs. In fact one such watershed
partnership's plan was the primary strategy used for restoring their stream.
- Obtain a copy of the Watershed Partnership Starter Kit
from the Conservation Technology
Information Center. (Call 765 494-9555.) It includes information about basic watershed
assessment, building a partnership, putting together a plan, and much more. Youll
also be invited to register with the National Watershed
- Assess your own actions
around the home and yard or farmstead and cropland. Contact your
local Extension for a Home-A-Syst or
Farm-A-Syst package or see their web site.
- If there is a stream or lake on your property, you might want to check water quality as
it enters and leaves your property. If a tile line or storm sewer drains nearby, you might
grab a water sample while the water is flowing fast. This can range from immediately
following a rainstorm to about 24 hours after the storm. Concrete and other paved surfaces
cause water to flow faster. Soil slows down water while it filters through to the tile
Many watershed partnerships purchase water quality monitoring equipment and train land
owners on Quality Assurance and Quality Control procedures so youre sure to get
meaningful information. Others utilize the services of partners like the local water
suppliers or Universities to conduct tests.
Additional information can also be obtained by
going to EPAs Monitoring Water Quality web site.
- Enlist the assistance of a reliable, locally respected watershed coordinator. You
wont be able to do everything yourself. There just isnt enough time to
coordinate it all. Other volunteers are likely to pitch in, but their also likely to burn
out if the workload is too heavy. This is why many watershed partnerships find a local
retiree or volunteer to coordinate all of this. Others discuss the possibility of having a
local agency such as the Conservation District, Extension, County, Water Supplier, etc.
fill the role.