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This article in NSE

  1. Vol. 41 No. 1, p. 44-53
    Received: July 24, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): jwilliam@agecon.ksu.edu
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Engaging Watershed Stakeholders for Cost-Effective Environmental Management Planning with “Watershed Manager”

  1. Jeffery R. Williams *a,
  2. Craig M. Smithc,
  3. Josh D. Roeb,
  4. John C. Leathermand and
  5. Robert M. Wilsonb
  1. a Dep. of Agricultural Economics, 342 Waters Hall, Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS 66506
    c Dep. of Agriculture, 218B Albertson Hall, Fort Hays State Univ., 600 Park St., Hays, KS 67601
    b Office of Local Government, K-State Research and Extension, 10J Umberger Hall, Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS 66506
    d Office of Local Government, Dep. of Agricultural Economics, 331G Waters Hall, Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS 66506. This project has been funded in part through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment by U.S. EPA Section 319 Funds in support of Kansas Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) and the Kansas Water Resources Institute (KWRI)


“Watershed Manager” is a spreadsheet-based model that is used in extension education programs for learning about and selecting cost-effective watershed management practices to reduce soil, nitrogen, and phosphorus losses from cropland. It can facilitate Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) stakeholder groups’ development of comprehensive watershed management plans that are required to be eligible for state and federal funding. This tool was developed to educate stakeholders about alternative best management practices (BMPs) that result in improvements in water quality and to select the combination of BMPs that yield the largest improvement in water quality per dollar spent. Users are able to estimate, optimize, and compare the economic and environmental effects of alternative management practices. WRAPS represents a citizen/stakeholder-led approach rather than a government-mandated and directed approach to watershed management. Kansas WRAPS is a state-sanctioned process whereby watershed protection and restoration plans are created and implemented. Funds, guidance, and technical assistance are provided for stakeholders to reach consensus on issues of relevance in their watershed and to design and execute a plan to address those issues. Cost-effective conservation is a way of getting the largest benefit for the dollars invested, but it is not always the most politically or socially palatable approach. Watershed Manager allows local stakeholders to cost-effectively identify politically and socially acceptable management practices. Watershed Manager has been utilized in developing cost-effective implementation plans to meet total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for 16 Hydrologic Unit Code 8 (HUC 8) watersheds in Kansas through the WRAPS program.

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