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Water 2011, 3(2), 590-603; doi:10.3390/w3020590

Tailored Watershed Assessment and Integrated Management (TWAIM): A Systems Thinking Approach

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 520 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155, USA
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1390 Eckles Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
Received: 1 March 2011 / Revised: 22 May 2011 / Accepted: 24 May 2011 / Published: 3 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Point Source Pollution Control and Management)
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Control of non-point source (NPS) water pollution remains elusive in the United States (US). Many US water-bodies which have been primarily impacted by NPS pollution have not achieved water quality goals set by Clean Water Act. Technological advances have been made since 1972, yet many water resources fail to meet water quality standards. Common Pool Resources Theory is considered to understand the human dimension of NPS pollution by exploring anthropogenic activities superimposed upon dynamic ecosystems. In the final analysis, priority management zones (PMZs) for best management practice (BMP) implementation must have buy-in from land managers. TWAIM is an iterative systems thinking approach to planning, collecting landscape and land use information and communicating systems understanding to stakeholders. Hydrologic pathways that link the physical, chemical and biological characteristics influence processes occurring in a watershed which drive stream health and ecological function. With better systems understanding and application by technical specialists, there is potential for improved stakeholder interaction and dialogue which could then enable better land use decisions. Issues of pollutant origin, transport, storage and hydraulic residence must be defined and communicated effectively to land managers within a watershed context to observe trends in water quality change. The TWAIM concept provides a logical framework for locally-led assessment and a means to communicate ecohydrologic systems understanding over time to the key land managers such that PMZs can be defined for BMP implementation. View Full-Text
Keywords: non-point source; land-use; watershed management; common pool resources; priority management zones non-point source; land-use; watershed management; common pool resources; priority management zones
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Magner, J. Tailored Watershed Assessment and Integrated Management (TWAIM): A Systems Thinking Approach. Water 2011, 3, 590-603.

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