Watershed Planning and Management

We all live in a watershed.

LRE’s Environmental Management and Regulatory Compliance Team is a multidisciplinary watershed-focused consulting group that integrates environmental considerations into water resource planning. We prepare for the future water needs of society in ways that are compatible with conserving and enhancing our natural resources. LRE’s Environmental Team is committed to always serve as trusted experts to our clients delivering highly valued, scientifically based, integrity-driven technical consulting services.

A watershed (also referred to as a river basin) is a geographic area bounded by a divide where water running off the land drains to a stream, river, lake, or wetland. The supply of public water for drinking and other uses may come from surface or groundwater sources. The natural chemical and hydrologic conditions of the watershed along with human land uses affect the water quality and quantity of streams and groundwater resources in a basin.

LRE’s watershed planning and management involves a holistic approach to protecting water quality that focuses on natural, point source, and nonpoint source physical and chemical influences in the entire watershed. A watershed approach is a departure from the traditional approach of managing individual anthropogenic wastewater discharges. As our population grows and as point source discharges are increasingly controlled, it is necessary to address the problems caused by polluted nonpoint runoff, which in most watersheds is the biggest contributor to water pollution.

Nonpoint pollution is caused by a variety of land use activities, including urban, industrial and housing development, transportation facilities, agriculture, and forestry. These diffuse sources may originate from a number of locations and enter waters from multiple points in the watershed. Non-point pollution is difficult to control and has not been effectively managed through regulatory programs.

Our watershed planning and management approach involves a number of activities, including:

  1. analyzing water quality,
  2. identifying target priority problems,
  3. involving elected officials and stakeholders in planning and implementation of control measures,
  4. identifying funding sources,
  5. collaboratively developing solutions to control various categories of pollution,
  6. leveraging funding sources and implementing control measures through a cooperative approach involving multiple agencies and organizations, and
  7. measuring success through monitoring and other data gathering.

LRE’s watershed management services may take place at the river basin or individual watershed level. Many issues are best addressed at the individual sub-watershed level. For example, identifying point and nonpoint sources of pollution that are carried to a lake or reservoir is best carried out by all of the regulatory agencies, local governments, and stakeholders within that watershed.