14 Mile Watershed Nine Key Element Plan

What Is a Nine Key Element  Watershed Plan?

Watershed plans consistent with EPA’s nine key elements provide a framework for improving water quality in a holistic manner within a geographic watershed. The nine elements help assess the contributing causes and sources of nonpoint source pollution, involve key stakeholders and prioritize restoration and protection strategies to address water quality problems.  Read More

What Is the 14 Mile Watershed Nine Key Element Plan?

The 14 Mile Watershed Nine Key Element Plan is a comprehensive plan created to improve the ground and surface water within our watershed which lies in parts of 4 counties covering 55,417 acres. The plan brings together all stakeholders in the watershed in a coordinated effort over the next 10 years to improve surface and groundwater in the watershed. The plan document is over 250 pages long and took three years to prepare by our Adams County Land and Water Conservation Department, with help from many people across the four counties and many state and federal agencies. Much of the data in the plan came from years of DNR and UW analysis coupled with certified testing done by our own 14 Mile Committee over the past three years. The plan is estimated to take 10 years to complete at an estimated cost of $8 million.

Current Status of the 14 Mile Watershed Nine Key Element Plan

The 14 Mile Watershed Nine Key Element Plan has received final approval from the EPA and DNR. The execution of the 10-year $8 million grant-funded plan is currently in the organizational stage. Adams County has responsibility for the plan through the county Land and Water Conservation Department (LWCD). They have put together a grant request for a seasoned staff person to oversee execution of the plan throughout the four-county watershed. Tri-Lakes Management District has agreed to co-fund 25% of the three-year grant, with the DNR paying the remaining 75%. In addition, LWCD will begin identifying an implementation team with representation throughout the stakeholder groups in the watershed.

Since 2017 the Tri-Lakes Management District, Town of Rome, and the 14 Mile Watershed Alliance have been working towards project milestones with efforts such as soil testing, upstream and in-lake water testing, fertilizer ordinance recommendations and community involvement. We understand the importance of reaching out to all of the watershed stakeholders, and to other groups that can help provide direction, help build bridges with our agriculture neighbors upstream, and secure access to funding.

Nine Key Elements

  1. Identify the causes and sources
  2. Estimate pollutant loading into the watershed and the expected load reductions
  3. Describe management measures that will achieve load reductions and targeted critical areas
  4. Estimate the amounts of technical and financial assistance and the relevant authorities needed to implement the plan
  5. Develop an information/education component
  6. Develop a project schedule
  7. Develop the interim, measurable milestones
  8. Identify indicators to measure progress and make adjustments
  9. Develop a monitoring component