Watersheds: A Water Resources Plan
Watersheds is an integrated water resources management plan and technical background document for the twenty-one (21) watersheds originating in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The plan is intended to protect the county’s natural resources, balance the needs of all of the County’s water users, provide municipalities with an integrated framework for sound land use decisions and water resources management, and help citizens understand water resource issues and their role in resource protection.
The plan was adopted as a component of the Chester County’s comprehensive plan to assist local governments and other entities to more effectively integrate water resources and land use decisions. Gaadt Perspectives, as the project’s land use and environmental planning consultant, served as part of an interdisciplinary team of water resources professionals and County staff to provide scientifically-sound goals, objectives and strategies for accommodating existing land uses and planned growth in a manner that maintains the integrity of the County’s water resources.
The plan serves different readers in different ways: A Call to Action explains why the plan is needed and what it intends to accomplish; A Primer helps readers understand how watersheds work and their importance to society; A Snapshot describes the existing conditions of the County’s watersheds; Goals and Objectives provide an overall context for achieving measurable improvements in the County’s watersheds over time; Priorities for Watershed Management identify the areas and problems with greatest need; Planning for Future Water and Wastewater Needs assist utilities, municipalities and others to consider and develop integrated water resources planning to more effectively integrate infrastructure and land use planning; Stakeholder Roles encourages all stakeholders (from residents to municipalities to land developers to land owners to utilities, and others) to become involved in protecting and preserving the County’s natural water resources; Strategies for Implementation provides specific science-based guidance for achieving goals and objectives; and Measures of Progress describe the methods to be used to assess progress over time. The plan also provides an inventory of watershed management needs for each of the County’s 21 watersheds, as well as a Water Resources Compendium, which provides the technical documentation for the plan.
The plan was the recipient of the Pennsylvania Planning Association’s Outstanding Planning Award and the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania).