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Integrating Water Research, Extension, and Education in the North Plains and Mountains Region

Investigators
Waskom, Reagan
Institutions
Colorado State University
Start date
2008
End date
2012
Objective
This project creates a structure for regional and national coordination to reduce program cost and make research, education and extension resources of the Land Grant University system more accessible at the local level. It supports collaboration with partner agencies and optimizes delivery of educational programs to agricultural producers and agriculturally-impacted communities across the region. The host institution is Colorado State University and the Regional Coordination Committee is composed of Water Quality Coordinators from the six Land Grant Universities.

Four regional programs form the basis for integration: Watershed Monitoring and Management; Agricultural Water Conservation and Protection; Drinking Water - Human and Livestock Health; and BMP Development, Training, and Assessment. These four program areas are aligned with NIWQP priorities and will be implemented through a performance-based budgeting process which brings new faculty, partners and leadership into the program.

Expected outcomes/impacts from these four programs include: increased public knowledge of human and livestock water quality; increased agricultural water conservation opportunities; increased irrigation water delivery efficiency; and improved water quality monitoring plans and data collection throughout the Region.

More information
Non-Technical Summary: The Land Grant Universities of the six states comprising the Northern Plains and Mountains Region (EPA Region 8) - Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming have a unique role in protecting and improving water resources by facilitating development, delivery and implementation of new and existing practices throughout the Region. However, due to limited faculty time and resources, it is critical to improve efficiency through coordination, partnerships, and leveraging financial resources. This project creates a structure for regional and national coordination to reduce program cost and make research, education and extension resources of the Land Grant University system more accessible at the local level. It supports collaboration with partner agencies and optimizes delivery of educational programs to agricultural producers and agriculturally-impacted communities across the region. The host institution is Colorado State University and the Regional Coordination Committee is composed of Water Quality Coordinators from the six Land Grant Universities. Four regional programs form the basis for integration: Watershed Monitoring and Management; Agricultural Water Conservation and Protection; Drinking Water - Human and Livestock Health; and BMP Development, Training, and Assessment. These four program areas are aligned with NIWQP priorities and will be implemented through a performance-based budgeting process which brings new faculty, partners and leadership into the program. Expected outcomes/impacts from these four programs include: increased public knowledge of human and livestock water quality; increased agricultural water conservation opportunities; increased irrigation water delivery efficiency; and improved water quality monitoring plans and data collection throughout the Region.

Approach: A primary goal of the NPM Regional Program is coordinating integration of water quality related research,teaching and outreach to optimize communication, partnerships, and leveraging of resources. This will be accomplished by providing funding to Water Quality Coordinators to be used as seed money for leveraging resources of other faculty members and agencies. Funding for travel and operating expenses allows Water Quality Coordinators the flexibility to participate and build the Regional and National Water Program. Objectives 1 - 3 below outline the proposed methods to achieve project coordination. Objective 1: Integrate resources through performance-based funding designed to promote multistate and multi-regional programming that addresses priority regional water resource concerns, strengthens the National Water Program, and shares education and outreach activities with local communities and watersheds. A performance-based funding structure will determine how regional funds are apportioned to Project Teams and to address objectives. The first year of this project will allocate monies to state subcontractors based on budget estimations for specific project deliverables for projects they have committed to accomplish over the course of the year. A baseline state allocation for projects and regional participation will constitute a portion of state budgets to cover travel expenses and other regional participation costs. At the end of years 1, 2, and 3, a Review Panel, consisting of an objective external evaluator, along with selected Regional Advisory Committee members, will evaluate the progress of each project team and state with regards to their performance on the deliverables they have committed to work on over the course of the year. All future project funding for each Project Team and state will depend on the recommendations made by this Review Team, with the final budget decisions made by the Regional Coordinator in consultation with Water Quality Coordinators. This procedure will optimize resources and monies expended on specific regional objectives in order to create assessable impacts, maximize program flexibility, and promote effective response to current and emerging water resource issues.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
COL0-2008-03547
Accession number
215807
Categories
Education and Training
Sanitation and Quality Standards