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Wetlands HealthWetlands

Watershed Approach Wetland Functional Assessment (WAWFA)

WRAM v.2 is complete, but operates at the site level. A tool is needed for conservation planning uses that operates at a watershed scale, utilizing available GIS data. The Department has recently been awarded a Wetland Grant (from Oct 2014 – September 2016) to develop a suite of GIS Functional Assessment Tools to conduct watershed scale assessment of the wetland functions covered in the WRAM. The tools will be developed in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and will be designed to be used in 9-Key Element Plan and TMDL Plan development, In-Lieu Fee and compensatory mitigation program implementation, and for wetland conservation planning by land trusts and local governments.

Monitoring Objectives

Assess how wetlands function within the watershed they occur in based on wetland position, landform, water flow path, and watershed and ecological landscape context (considering surrounding land use, % wetlands in watershed, soils, geology, and hydrology). Functional assessment at the watershed scale is limited to available GIS layers rather than field work. This is what differentiates it from the field-based WRAM v. 2. As such it is considered a Level 1 – Landscape Level Assessment.

Monitoring Design

Currently the tools are under development and there is as yet no specific design.

Water Quality Indicators

Wetland functional values are the indicators for this approach.

Quality Assurance

Develop QA/QC checks for GIS layers (use WWI or other accepted GIS QA/QC process)

Data Management

Input layers would be those already managed within Water Division's infrastructure (SWIMS/SWDV/WATERS). Output would be part of integrated watershed planning GIS storage.


Wetland functional assessment could be done at a watershed scale as part of the "watershed approach" to compensatory mitigation and to inform watershed plans. Further, watershed analysis can be conducted by using NWI+ and GIS-WRAM tools. The program would like to develop a suite of GIS tools to assess functions.

Programmatic Evaluation

Assessment would be based on the NWI+ classification system and GIS-Functional Assessment Tools that are being developed through a Wetland Grant. During the 5 year period this Strategy covers, we would expect to have several 6-digit pilot watersheds completed within the first 3 years.

Last revised:

Tuesday May 30 2017