Planning & Management

Oral

395328 - Planning the next 10 year in water resources project using a prioritization tool

Thursday, June 7
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Greenway GH
Co-Authors: Scott Sobiech, Minneapolis – Barr Engineering; Erin Anderson Wenz, Minneapolis – Barr Engineering

During the initial stages of its Watershed Management Plan (Plan) update, the Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District (RPBCWD) solicited stakeholder input on watershed management issues through a public engagement process. Through this process "project prioritization" was identified as an issue of high importance to stakeholders. Comments received at public meetings highlighted the difficulty in developing a clear and equitable method for project prioritization.

To address this concern, the RPBCWD developed a project prioritization method based in part on the EnvisionTM Sustainability Framework (Envision). This prioritization method allows relative comparison of various watershed management type projects spanning across watershed boundaries and types of water resources (i.e. wetlands, creeks, lakes and groundwater). This prioritization tool allowed a method
for scoring these projects based on multiple benefits with consideration for logistical factors (i.e. timing, partnership dollars and coordination with partners to name a few). Some of the benefits considered included:
1. Sustainability (Based on EnvisionTM)
2. Alignment with District Goals
3. Volume Management
4. Pollutant Management
5. Habitat Restoration
6. Shoreline/Streambank Restoration
7. Watershed Benefits
8. Partnership Opportunities
9. Public Education.

The tool was used to prioritize all water quality improvement projects across three watersheds and all water resource types. The logistical constraints for high priority projects were taken into consideration in the development of a 10-year Management Implementation
Program and were included in the District's 10-Year Management Plan to guide the District as they protect, restore and manage their water resources.

Claire Bleser, PhD

District Administrator
Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District

Claire Bleser is the District Administrator at the Riley-Purgatory-Bluff Creek Watershed District for the past six years, and has over ten years of experience in education and outreach related to water resource and watershed management. Her past degrees include a bachelor’s degrees in
International Integrated Studies with Honors, and International Economics; a master’s degree in Middle East Studies focusing on water conflicts in the Middle East, and a doctorate in Water Resources with a minor in conflict management. Her thesis work looked at the impacts of
water-level manipulation and impacts to water quality in the bordering lakes in Voyageurs National Park. Claire is also a co-instructor at the University of Minnesota where she engages student in discussing climate change in her Environmental Ethics class. Her work in both social
sciences and natural sciences allows Claire to reach multiple audiences.

Presentation(s):

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