Healthy Watersheds – A Vision for the Future
In order to measure whether the actions the Central Coast Water Board result in tangible water quality improvements, the Vision Assessment Team is developing a project that is capable of tracking our success toward meeting our three measurable goals. The objective of the Vision Assessment Project is to develop and implement assessment that will provide the information necessary to determine whether the three Measurable Goals are being attained. Each of the three goals requires that "health" be defined. Multi-parameter indices will be developed that will be used as a surrogate measure for health.
For example, for healthy aquatic habitat, data associated with measures of bioassessment, biostimulation, toxicity, riparian habitat and water chemistry will be used. For proper land management, measures may include impervious surface coverage, pesticide use patterns, implementation of management practices, etc. For clean groundwater, measures may include concentrations and trends in key pollutants, number of case closures, etc. Not only must this project define and calibrate these indices and assess them at a Region-wide scale, it also must set up a data management and assessment infrastructure (including software and database structure) so that this process can be successfully maintained and repeated in future years.