New EPA Tool to Accelerate Watershed Planning
The EPA has released the Watershed Plan Builder, an interactive, Web-based tool to improve efforts by states and local communities in protecting and restoring local water resources. The tool will help local watershed organizations develop integrated watershed plans to meet state and EPA requirements and promote water quality improvements.
“Our watershed web tool will help grass roots groups and communities protect water quality and save time and money through improved planning and information," said Benjamin H. Grumbles, EPA assistant administrator for Water.
Practitioners from watershed organizations, federal and state agencies, tribes, universities and local governments will use the Watershed Plan Builder to address polluted runoff, the largest contributor to water quality problems nationwide.
Once the data are entered, the tool produces an outline of a comprehensive watershed plan tailored to a specific watershed. The Watershed Plan Builder then walks the practitioner through various planning steps.
During the next six months, the Watershed Plan Builder will be available to watershed organizations, federal and state agencies, tribes, universities and local governments to beta test the application and provide feedback. A team of experts from EPA's water programs developed the tool, with input from state, tribal and local agency experts and other local watershed practitioners.
EPA will host a Webcast on the Watershed Plan Builder on May 2, 2007, from 1-2:30 p.m. EDT.