Healthy Watersheds Protection

Healthy Watersheds: Developing a Watershed Health Index

The foundation of a healthy watersheds assessment is compilation of ecological information that is measurable, comparable and consistent across the area of the assessment and relevant to summarizing the primary attributes of a watershed’s condition. Watershed indicators are first selected, based on the six essential ecological attributes fundamental to the healthy watersheds assessment approach. A sub-index for each of the six attributes is developed from these indicators. Sub-index values for each watershed are then aggregated up into a single Watershed Health Index value for each watershed. All sub-index and index values are relative (i.e., "healthier" vs "not as healthy"), not absolute (i.e., no "healthy vs unhealthy" cutoff score is identified) and thus are meant for comparing relative differences among watersheds rather than precisely defining healthy vs. unhealthy watersheds.

Detailed information and assessment examples relevant to the Watershed Health Index, the six attributes and their integration is provided via the seven tabbed sections of this web page: