Water Quality Tools

Database: Community Resources for Water Quality

Our “Community Resources for Water Quality” archive tool lists and describes publications and other types of materials available through the Rutgers-New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) that discuss topics connected to protecting watersheds. Also included is information about water quality and maintaining or improving water conditions. These publications and resources are intended to assist Environmental Commissions, Green Teams and/or other interested residents to improve, preserve and restore stream areas and watersheds in their communities. Use the search engine in your browser to explore specific topics of interest.

This tool was developed by the LRWP and Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County (part of Rutgers NJAES) to improve the accessibility of information about preserving water quality.

The database contains 9 columns to describe each entry. Further details about column content are included below the worksheet.

Some Notes for Users about the Water Resources Database Archive

1. Title

2. Publication Date: the date appears as mm/dd/yyyy. If the publication date on the NJAES website contained only a month and year of publication but no day, the first of the month was used for consistency. For example, a publication date listed as March 2011 is listed as 3/1/2011 in the database.

3. Areas of Interest: This is the most general identification of potential users for a publication.

4. Types of Intervention: This describes in general terms the action directed by the reference.

5. Action: This is a summary of the content document.

6. Commitment and Action Level: Using a rating of A – G, each publication was evaluated using two criteria: how the publication fulfilled the mission and goals of the LRWP and the level of action and commitment required by the reader to implement the activity described in the publication. The rating scale is as follows.

A. Awareness: Focus is on awareness generation and information sharing for the novice; encourages further action with suggestions for next steps; no cost associated. Any action can be accomplished without assistance or with minimal additional research or reading. Materials identify an important environmental issue and provide the reader with recognition and identification that watersheds exist and ideal conditions also exist for their survival. (Informative)

Summary, Concepts, Concern,

B. Educational: Materials describe in detail the biome associated with watersheds and introduce potential solutions to the degradation of watersheds locally. (Knowledge)

Instruction, Application, Educational, Know-how,

C. Integration: Encourages critical thinking and consideration of personal action with modest outside assistance. Perhaps phone call(s), maps, research that involves driving to a municipal office or calling an Extension office to speak with experts or other stakeholders. Maybe attending a public meeting. Beginning of investment of personal resources: time, money, planning. Perhaps beginning to conceptualize personal contribution to the solution. (Critical Thinking)

Assimilation, Analyzing, Combination, Synthesis, Integration, Consolidation,

D. Planning: Requires more engagement of the reader especially in the areas of personal resources: time – attending an organized event, spending more time reading and researching, attending public meetings or meetings by other stakeholders; Being willing and able (or planning) to spend money to improve outcome, formulating a plan of action. (Problem Solving)

Synthesizing, Embracing, Integration

E. Investment: Intensive involvement in planning potential conservation of watershed, multiple actions including, screening and selecting of potential action/remediation plans, consultation with interested agencies and experts such as Extension, state and federal bureaus, grant writing, skills development. (Decision Making)

Interest, Contribution, Expenditure, Inauguration, taking on, Managing, Responsibility

F. Implementation: Initiate, execute, and manage conservation plan in collaboration with experts, government agencies, and public. (Action)

Enforce, Execute, Fulfillment, Application, Utilization, Operation, Performance, Deployment, Agency

G. Perpetuate: Manage, maintain, preserve and secure watershed after intervention. (Stewardship)

Maintain, preserve, conserve, Maintenance, Management, Guardianship, Cultivate, Sustain

7. Implementation: The Implementation column describes the person(s) who would execute the
action described in the publication.

8. Link: The link is the web url address of the reference on the NJAES website.

9. Detail Level: This describes the level of specificity of the source. For example, is the factsheet an overview of a problem or a detailed step-by-step amelioration plan? The scale is as follows:

Low: An introduction to a topic consisting of mostly descriptive information. This
introduces the foundation and usefulness of the topic.

Medium: Publications ranked at this level introduce more scientific data and rationales and may consist of direct instructions or action plans.

High: These publications consist of more difficult scientific concepts, higher levels of detail and possibly an in-depth exploration of cited data.

Very High: These publications are highly technical.