Collaboration Toolkit

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Align Planning with Priority Source Water Concerns

Successful source water protection begins with identifying priorities and ripe opportunities, and a focus on a particular water quality concern. Considering these priorities will help you identify key partners and potential members of your collaborative. A common understanding of source water concerns can help form the foundation of a source water collaborative, bring organizations to the table, and cement their commitment.

Understand that each collaborative has a unique structure and set of goals. Some successfully create and follow an agreed-upon action plan. Others have a broader framework where participants do not need to reach consensus before taking actions. The suggestions below can guide decision making for either model.

Here are initial steps to identify priorities:

  • Assess ripe opportunities, such as:
    • New funding sources or programs.
    • Recent water quality concerns.
    • New leaders in key potential partner organizations.
    • State or local opportunities to identify priority watersheds for water quality improvement.
    • Other programs’ updates: state or local watershed, stormwater, or floodplain management plans, local land use management concerns or planning updates.
  • Identify readily available state and/or local partners.
  • Focus on one or two priority contaminants. Source water assessments, recent assessment updates, and data from other sources may be useful resources.

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