Collaborative Watershed Management

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Introduction The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the Watershed Management course and to elucidate the things learned and accomplished. This class offers information, both specific and general, for educational and career applications which makes it a valuable offering in the environmental program at State University. Our connectedness to the environment through what is arguably our most vital resource, the watershed, emphasizes the importance of collaborative management. Learnings The National Research Council (NRC) states that “managing water resources at the watershed scale, while difficult, offers the potential of balancing the many, sometimes competing, demands we place on water resources” (1999, p.1). It is well understood that our waters are under considerable stress and that as a finite resource we have a responsibility to manage them to the best of our ability, with sustainability in mind (Grant, et al., 2012; Rogers, Silva and Bhatia, 2002; Zalewski, 2000). A regional outlook, which is what a watershed demands due to spatial scale, forces a certain team attitude, in other words, collaborative management. Sabatier (2005) states that collaborative watershed organizations are a somewhat new method of environmental management. The author continues by stating that this new methodology adapts old methods to new ways of thinking. Frankly it reminds me of adaptive management which considers the views of all stakeholders as equal in importance. Each stakeholder has a vested interest in the project but must be willing to adapt according to the needs of the other stakeholders as well as the needs of the project. Both have a tendency to change over time and space. It is not likely that a rigid hierarchical management style... ... middle of paper ... ...c, I. (2012). Taking the “waste” out of “wastewater” for human water security and ecosystem sustainability. science, 337(6095), 681-686. National Research Council (US). Committee on Watershed Management. (1999). New strategies for America's watersheds. National Academy Press. Norton, B. G. (2005). Sustainability: A philosophy of adaptive ecosystem management. University of Chicago Press. Rogers, P., Silva, R. D., & Bhatia, R. (2002). Water is an economic good: How to use prices to promote equity, efficiency, and sustainability. Water policy,4(1), 1-17. Sabatier, P. A. (Ed.). (2005). Swimming upstream: Collaborative approaches to watershed management. Washington, DC: MIT Press. Zalewski, M. (2000). Ecohydrology—the scientific background to use ecosystem properties as management tools toward sustainability of water resources. Ecological engineering, 16(1), 1-8.

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