Watershed managers face a broad group of challenges in orchestrating restoration projects with numerous stakeholders, overlapping regulatory authorities, multiple pollutants, and varied funding sources. Sustaining the effort over a multi-year period adds to these challenges. Prioritization
of the most effective best management practices (BMPs) and restoration projects is essential for a successful, long-term effort. Decision support systems which aid managers in tracking the implementation of water quality projects and BMPs provides a foundation for long-term watershed management.
These systems provide the watershed manager with tools to track progress and prioritize efforts on those actions that are found to be most effective in restoring water quality. Systematic tracking of water quality improvement efforts provides a means for overall program management. The
Cascade Reservoir TMDL Implementation Plan in central Idaho will be used as an example for the development and application of a database project tracking tool. The Cascade Reservoir TMDL tracking system serves as a master summary of all projects and best management projects (BMPs) constructed
for the purpose of reducing the phosphorus load to Cascade Reservoir. The system is used as a management tool to assess phosphorus load reduction, to analyze cost effectiveness, and to assess performance of each BMP either individually, or as a whole. The Cascade tracking system utilizes Microsoft's
Access database application.
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