Constraints to watershed planning: Group structure and process

Kristin Floress, Jean C. Mangun, Mae A. Davenport, Karl W.J. Williard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The roles that agencies and other partners play in collaborative watershed management are not always clearly identified. Key factors contributing to group-level outcomes in watershed groups include both structural and procedural elements. Structural elements include membership systems, project partners, and funding, while procedural elements include leadership, shared vision, and mission development. The current research reports on a case study conducted with a Midwestern watershed group that received Clean Water Act Section 319 funds to undertake a watershed planning process. Data come from focus groups, interviews, public comments, and meeting observation, and were analyzed using grounded theory. Findings of this study indicate that homogenous skill set, discord over group and partner roles, and failed problem identification contributed to the organizational inertia experienced by the watershed group. Implications of this research for groups receiving 319 funds are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1352-1360
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Water Resources Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Clean Water Act Section 319
  • Collaboration
  • Planning
  • Public participation
  • Watershed management


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