Established by an interdisciplinary team, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Watershed Assessment, Restoration, and Protection (WARP) framework promotes the integration of WDNR Water Division programs with respect to integrated watershed projects such as total maximum daily loads (TMDLs). The framework connects staff from various programs and management teams in order to help integrate and align program goals directed at evaluating, restoring, and protecting Wisconsin’s waters in concert with local watershed partner’s interests. Specifically, WARP focuses on the application of consistent methods, strategic allocation of staff and funding, and formalized lines of communication among the various programs and WDNR offices throughout Wisconsin. The need for this initiative resulted from a recent Water Division reorganization, acquisition of new staff, and additional pressures from federal funding sources which created an environment requiring clear roles and responsibilities, measurable expectations, and adequate resources to succeed in meeting the myriad of responsibilities for maintaining Wisconsin’s surface waters.
Results to Date:
Since the inception of WARP in October 2011, the advisory team supporting the framework has improved the WDNR’s ability to see success with integrated watersheds projects through the following:
- The initial development of statewide guidance for various components of TMDL implementation promoting consistency and efficiency among WDNR staff;
- An analysis of all TMDL projects, their respective status, and the staff involved with each TMDL. The completion of this task led to a first in the WDNR – the hiring of TMDL project managers; and
- The recommendation for program-specific monitoring data needs related to federal TMDL requirements that could be incorporated in a statewide monitoring strategy.
Director, Water Quality Bureau
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources