Tracking Outcomes and Metrics to Measure Progress
In recent years, the HTF has worked to set and report on metrics to help better track progress towards the reduction goals. This work is key to understanding in the next few years whether the conservation actions that states and others are taking will move us to reach our interim target and goal of a 20% reduction in N and P delivered to the Gulf by 2025.
No one tool can be perfect for measuring our progress because of the wide variety of factors that influence loading. Thus the HTF and partners are working to measure basinwide nutrient reductions at multiple scales through multiple tools, including:
- a decadal look at conservation through the USDA-supported CEAPExit and USGS-supported SPARROWExit efforts;
- state, regional and basin-scale loading models, including CEAP and SPARROW, that examine nutrients in the basin through source analyses;
- statistical and other trend analyses of nutrient concentrations in the MARB across multiple time-frames using data collected by states, USGS National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA)Exit, EPA National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS), watershed groups, researchers, and those who use the Water Quality Portal for Nutrient Water Quality dataExit (WQX) to house nutrient water quality data;
- biennial reports on point and nonpoint source trend information; and
- the annual NOAA hypoxia zone monitoring cruise.
In November 2017, a few Task Force affiliates presented on how the Task Force is working to track progress as part of the Current webinar series of the North Central Region Water Network. Watch the webinar here: Conservation Practice Tracking for the Mississippi River Basin. Exit