A watershed refers to an area of land that drains to a common water body such as a lake or stream. Watersheds vary in size and shape. Large watersheds are comprised of smaller or “nested” watersheds. A Hydrologic Unit Code, or HUC, is used to identify specific watersheds at different scales. The number of digits in a HUC indicates the relative scale of the watershed. The smaller the number, the larger the watershed. In Kansas, there are approximately 2020 HUC 14 watersheds nested within 355 HUC 11 watersheds, which are in turn nested in approximately 90 HUC 8 watersheds.
WRAPS can be applied to any size watershed from river basins to something as small as 100 acres. A river basin WRAPS will likely have less detail than a small watershed, but the general principles are the same. A river basin WRAPS would mostly likely be initiated by state agencies while a small community lake watershed may be initiated by the lake owner. A river basin WRAPS would typically produce a list of priority sub-watersheds contained within the basin that would lead to specific WRAPS projects for these smaller watersheds. Watersheds consisting of a 14, 11 or 8 digit HUC are generally used for WRAPS purposes, although larger watershed may be utilized. The size of the watershed (e.g. HUC 14, 11, or 8) used for a particular WRAPS will depend on a number of factors, such as the water bodies being protected, regional physiographic characteristics and community structure. The WRAPS initiative is intended to assure that watershed action plans developed under this process are consistent and mutually supportive regardless of the size of the watershed.
Anyone with an interest or deriving value from the watershed’s resources is a stakeholder. In reality, everyone who lives in a watershed is a stakeholder in the restoration and protection of that watershed. We all want to drink clean water, swim in clean water, eat fish that came from clean water, and have a river or lake that looks and is healthy and full of life. Examples of stakeholders include urban and rural residents; local, state or federal government agencies; elected officials; agricultural producers; recreational users and wildlife enthusiasts.
A special WRAPS Fund has been established through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment with federal funding through the EPA Clean Water Act Section 319 Program and state funding through the State Water Plan Fund. Funding fluctuates from year to year, and more information about current funding can be found on the “Grants” page of this website. A number of other state and federal programs may also be used to support various components of a WRAPS, particularly implementation projects. Local resources can also be utilized to support WRAPS efforts.
Proposals for WRAPS funding can be submitted in four categories to suit the four phases of a WRAPS process:
- Development: Stakeholder recruitment, determine interest, document stakeholder decisions.
- Assessment: Review watershed conditions, trends, develop expectations of the watershed and management measures in use, identify restoration and protection needs, creating a watershed model.
- Planning: Establish goals, identify actions that may achieve goals, develop cost estimates, select strategy, and identify stakeholder implementation strategies.
- Implementation: Secure resources needed to execute plan, monitor and document progress, revise plan as needed. Program guidance is developed by the WRAPS Work Group for projects funded within these categories.
Local government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may sponsor a WRAPS proposal and apply for funding from the KDHE WRAPS Fund. Examples include conservation districts, watershed districts, city and county governments, resource conservation and development councils, and nonprofit environmental/conservation organizations. Individual citizens who see a need for watershed restoration and/or protection in their watershed can also work through one of these local groups to initiate a WRAPS.
Proposals for WRAPS funding from the KDHE WRAPS Fund will be submitted online through the Kansas Clean Waters (KCW) system. The KCW can be accessed through “Grants” page of this website, or through the KDHE Watershed Management Section web site: www.kdhe.state.ks.us/nps
Proposals for WRAPS projects will be evaluated based on criteria established by the WRAPS Work Group comprised of state and federal natural resource agencies. Evaluation criteria will consider state priority interests, local priority interests and project history. Watersheds above federal reservoirs that serve public water supply needs have been identified as initial state interest priority areas. However, proposals for any watershed are eligible for funding and will be considered by the WRAPS Work Group.
Although individual WRAPS documents will vary somewhat in format and content, the general components of a WRAPS document should include:
- Watershed assessment information describing the natural resource conditions and associated challenges/opportunities
- Summary of stakeholder involvement (stakeholder recruitment, leadership team, public involvement, etc.)
- Watershed goals for the area
- Actions recommended to achieve goals (includes implementation, monitoring and evaluation)
- Identification of technical and financial resources needed to implement the recommended actions
- Supportive documentation (statements of adoption, agency approvals and memorandums of understanding)
Please visit the WRAPS Project directory for the most current listing of WRAPS Projects.