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Why Watersheds?

Managing water resource programs on a watershed basis makes good sense—environmentally, financially, and socially. But in the 1990s when EPA increasingly promoted a watershed approach as the way to implement the Clean Water Act for best results, this was a new and unfamiliar message to many people. "Why?" was a common question. The Watershed Approach Framework(15 pp, 231 K)  explains EPA's vision for managing water resources on a watershed basis. It emphasizes the role EPA envisions for states and tribes. It also reflects the high priority that individual Office of Water programs have put on developing and supporting comprehensive state and tribal watershed approach strategies that actively involve public and private interests at all levels to achieve environmental protection. Although its older date implies that an occasional phone number or contact person may have changed or a program guidance may have been updated, the basic message of the document—why it is worthwhile to take a watershed approach in managing our environment—remains intact.