Protecting Wisconsin's Groundwater Through Comprehensive Planning
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Integrate groundwater into your comprehensive plan
  5 steps for integrating groundwater into your plan 2. Inventory groundwater data and analyze trends 3. Develop groundwater goals, objectives, and policies 5. Decide how to monitor progress 1. Review pre-planning actions
  4. Prioritize policies

Naturally, there are priorities that surface during the process of developing goals, objectives and policies. To implement goals through objectives and policies, your community will need to prioritize. We recommend the following steps:

  1. Prioritize the goals. The best way of prioritizing is to develop a systematic approach based on the item’s importance, its dependency on other actions and consequently the timing of implementation.

  2. Identify a responsible party for each policy. To ensure that policies are ultimately put in place, it is recommended that a responsible party be identified for each policy, program or other initiative your county expects to complete. Identifying responsible parties has two big benefits: there is a person or organization to take ownership of the action and make sure it is completed; and it helps manage workload so that too many responsibilities are not placed on too few people. Responsible parties may include volunteer organizations, civic groups, commissions, boards, professional teams, consultants, or agencies and other stakeholders.

  3. Consider “milestone dates.” It is important to set realistic timeframes for implementation of the items. For regular business items, such as reviewing development proposals, you may include an “ongoing” timeline. However, broad timelines are generally not very useful for specific, one-time types of activities such as preparing an ordinance. When figuring out appropriate milestone dates for completion of tasks, you will need to take into consideration funding and length of time to accomplish the activity. You should also consider how much public input is necessary and whether the recommended activity will be controversial to implement. These all add to total length of a particular activity and the timeline should reflect those considerations. It is important to realize that these milestone dates will likely change as the plan is implemented and updated.

Adapted from Implementation Element Guide. Center for Land Use Education. 2006.

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For assistance concerning comprehensive planning, please contact Lynn Markham, UW-Stevens Point.
For assistance concerning groundwater, please contact Charles Dunning, USGS.
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Page last updated: January 14, 2008