Revision as of 11:50, 15 March 2011 by ***** (***** | *****)
What is Environment Assessment?
The first step towards a watershed action plan is an Environment Assessment, which includes the selection, compilation and mapping of data on the watershed, with the aim to show its current environmental condition. The implementation of Environment Assessment helps to identify any existing environmental impacts and thus what mitigation techniques need to be implemented within the watershed action plan.
Biophysical and socio-economic survey
In order to assess as much environmental information on the target area as possible, it is important to consider both, biophysical as well as socio-economic features of the watershed. The most effective way to do so is a combination of landscape observation, interviews and mapping. A checklist and questionnaire help to note down the findings of the landscape observation and the interviews. Maps help to illustrate the environmental condition of the watershed and thus to locate points of interest such as degradation features, wetlands and spring areas.
Identification of major problems and problem areas
Once the biophysical and socio-economic survey is done, the collected data should be analyzed carefully in order to assess major problems and problem areas within the watershed. Identified problems should be ranked according to priority (regarding both, quantity and degree of degradation). A list of possible causes and features of the latter can be found.
Results of the environment assessment should be A) a list of the identified problems of the watershed ranked by priority and B) a map and/or several thematic maps, showing the watershed’s environmental condition and problem areas.