Binational Vision Project: Assessment
A watershed vision provides a framework for harmonizing data and stakeholder inputs. A vision describes the past, present, and desired future conditions of a watershed. It is interdisciplinary and combines data from scientists, social scientists, practitioners, and watershed stakeholders. The visioning process encourages stakeholder participation, and has been shown to be a successful way of creating realistic and sustainable watershed management plans (Montgomery and Sullivan 1995).
A watershed vision typically asks the following questions:
Source: (Montgomery and Sullivan 1995)
- How does the landscape work?
- What is the history of the watershed?
- What is the current condition?
- What are the desired future states of the watershed according to the major stakeholders?
- How can we meet stakeholder goals?
Approximately 60 Binational Watershed Advisory Committee (BWAC) members met quarterly to discuss the components of the Vision project. In 2003, the BWAC identified major challenges and opportunities for the watershed. The Vision Research Team sketched out the goals and objectives for the watershed, which were first reviewed and revised by BWAC, and then critiqued by a wider group of stakeholders at public meetings.
One hundred and fifty-five (155) TRW stakeholders, or interested persons, convened in September and October of 2003 to help develop a Binational Vision for the TRW. Three of the meetings were held in Imperial Beach, Campo, and Tecate, and two meetings took place in Tijuana, for a total of five meetings. Each meeting included participants from both sides of the border and from the entire TRW region including Ensenada. One-half of the participants were contacted in person through outreach efforts in the field, while the remaining participants were stakeholders suggested by BWAC members and contacted through mail, phone, email, and fax. The meetings included diverse sectors, such as landowners, water resource managers, natural resource managers, academics, indigenous groups, cattle ranchers, agricultural interests, industry, the public sector, businesses, and so forth.
Efforts by outreach coordinators were critical in making sure that adequate numbers and types of stakeholders participated at the public meetings.
The Binational Vision for the TRW presented here contains stakeholders’ views about the desired state for the watershed in the near and distant future and recommends strategies and alternatives for achieving that Vision. Much of the data and analysis on historical and projected trends presented here had been collected previously and analyzed outside of the scope of this visioning project. This document serves to inform stakeholders and provide guidelines for decision makers, and provides a snapshot of the state of the TRW as it was viewed by stakeholders.