A watershed plan is a policy document that identifies watersheds (hydrological areas where water flows downhill to a receiving waterway or waterbody) and proposes management practices that can protect or improve the water quality of the receiving waterbody for some desired use (such as boating, swimming, aquatic and nearshore habitat, or fishing). Watersheds (and local sub-watersheds) can be managed at different scales, ranging from multi-state river basins to small stream catchment areas, as identified by their Hydrologic Unit Codes.
Watershed plans can use topographical features to identify their boundaries and low-cost natural processes (such as buffering or infiltration) to guide their management.
The topographical boundaries of watersheds might not correspond to political boundaries, making their coordinated management more difficult between communities
Example 1: Ohio
Description: A guide to developing local watershed action plans in Ohio
Example 2: Indiana
Description: Indiana Watershed Planning Guide
Example 3: Michigan
Description: Developing a Watershed Management Plan for Water Quality: A Guide
Example 4: Illinois
Description: Guidance for Watershed Action Plans in Illinois
Example 5: Indiana
Description: Example Watershed Management Plans
Photo Credit: Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning