Getting to Scale in Successful Watershed Management

Together with collaborators, members of the North Central Region Water Network, helped lead the creation of a whitepaper on getting to scale in successful watershed management offering a vision and theory of change for how successful watershed management systems can be scaled up across the Midwest.

The whitepaper a) proposes a primary unit of watershed management that can be scaled up and sustained over time, b) articulates the necessary elements to foster and support the scale-up efforts, and c) proposes actionable strategies for operationalizing the scale-up effort.

The paper is authored by Rebecca Power, Director of the North Central Region Water Network, and Amulya Rao of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The paper was informed by peer and nonpeer reviewed literature and watershed experts who attended a summit in November 2017. By integrating two sources of information, namely literature and summit participants, we hope to present a comprehensive vision and actionable strategies to implement the scale-up of watershed management initiatives across the Midwest.

The summit at which the strategies to scale up watershed management initiatives were developed was held on November 6-7, 2017 in Dubuque, Iowa. The summit had 40 participants representing a variety of sectors, including government, academic, nongovernment, independent consulting, Extension, and watershed management. The summit consisted of three working sessions where participants deliberated on the definition of a “scalable unit” for watershed management, the necessary elements to support the scale-up of watershed management in the Midwest, and strategies to operationalize the scale-up. The Getting to Scale in Successful Watershed Management whitepaper summarizes the ideas and strategies that were developed at the summit and justifies them with literature and case studies as to reflect both real-world, on-the-ground expertise and academic expertise.

While the paper focuses the cases and recommendations of this paper in the Midwestern U.S., some of the recommendations will have applicability in other regions of the U.S. and to the field of watershed management as a whole.

Advisory Committee

Todd Ambs
Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition (formerly)

Nicholas Brozović
Water for Food Daugherty Global Institute
at the University of Nebraska

Kate Gibson
Water for Food Daugherty Global Institute
at the University of Nebraska

Linda Prokopy
Purdue University

Chad Watts
Conservation Technology Information Center (formerly)

Roger Wolf
Iowa Soybean Association