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A watershed management plan (WMP) is a living document that will require periodic updates as landuse and water quality change over time and best management practices (BMPs) are implemented. During the WMP development process the watershed group determined how often the WMP will be reevaluated; typically every 5 years (or annually to more closely track progress). As part of the evaluation process, the group should review the implementation activities in the work plan or action register, the monitoring results, and any other chosen indicators to determine the effectiveness of the implementation efforts and whether progress is being made toward achieving the WMP goals. If implementation efforts are on track and interim milestones are being met, celebrate success and carry on! If it is determined that interim milestones or pollutant reduction goals are not being met, consider the following questions and make any necessary adjustments before modifying the WMP:
A WMP may or will need to be updated for various reasons including:
When it is determined that a WMP needs to be updated, the group will need to establish whether this entails rewriting the WMP or simply revising the WMP. The term (and ultimately the process) chosen depends on what needs to be done. Before updating a WMP, the watershed group should discuss the revision with their IDEM Watershed Specialist. IDEM and the watershed group will decide which checklist elements need to be revised and make a determination on whether the WMP needs to be rewritten or just requires a few revisions. An updated WMP must be approved by IDEM before Section 319 funds can be awarded for implementation. Section 319 or 205j grant funds may be available to help groups update their plan (see the Section 319 and 205j Grant Funding section below for more information).
Rewriting a watershed plan implies that most of the WMP needs to be updated, incorporating the entire planning process. The WMP will be required to meet the IDEM 2009 WMP Checklist.
A rewrite is required if all of the following WMP checklist requirements are determined to be outdated enough to impede successful implementation of the WMP:
Projects rewriting a watershed management plan must devote a sufficient amount of time to the process to gather essential data, make decisions, and educate and engage watershed stakeholders. IDEM encourages projects rewriting a WMP to have at least 6 steering committee meetings during the rewriting process. Implementation may not occur in the watershed until the rewritten plan is approved.
Revising a watershed plan implies that only select WMP checklist requirements need to be updated. The WMP updates must meet the checklist requirements for the particular (2003 or 2009) checklist the WMP was originally approved under. WMPs approved under the 2001 checklist must be rewritten to meet the 2009 WMP Checklist to be eligible for implementation funding. Since there needs to be a clearly understandable and logical train of thought throughout the WMP, when one section of the WMP needs to be revised, other sections may also need some revision. Below are the elements of a WMP that commonly need to be revised, along with related elements that will need to be considered. The relevant 2003 WMP Checklist and 2009 WMP Checklist element numbers are shown in parentheses respectively.
If you want to revise:
Other considerations when revising a watershed management plan:
In order for a group to receive Section 319 or 205j funding for WMP updates, at least two of the WMP sections below must be outdated:
Judging what is “outdated” is subjective, and groups should make this determination using their best professional judgment and discussing with IDEM. The result will determine whether the process for rewriting or revising the WMP is applicable. WMPs approved by IDEM within the last five years are not eligible to receive funding for revision, unless extraordinary circumstances necessitate it and it is pre-approved by IDEM. For more information on whether your WMP revision qualifies for funding, read the specific requirements in the IDEM 319/205(j) Grant Application Instructions.