Executive Summary

The Sacramento River Basin Report Card provides a description of conditions relative to our expectations and goals for the Basin. It is a science-based solution to a social and management need. The Report Card measures aspects of the whole integrated system relative to stakeholder goals. It reports on the system using regionally-important and science-based indicators. Because the indicators are assessed using transparent reference points, they provide a measurement of health that can be assessed in future report cards.

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ModelThe Watershed Assessment Framework (WAF) is in an evaluation framework developed for use at the scale of identified watershed boundaries. The geographical scope of the assessment framework varies, and is based upon the washed area being evaluated. The concept and use of the WAF was developed by the USEPA’s Science Advisory Board and has been adapted to meet watershed monitoring needs and performance measures identified in the California Watershed Management Strategic Action Plan.

The framework provides a scientifically defensible approach for aggregating and assessing a multitude of environmental, economic and social data. The framework can be used to assist in linking the condition of a watershed’s air, water, land, biota, and social structures into a broad framework termed ecosystem condition — the sum total of the physical, chemical, social and biological components of the watershed and how they interact and change over time. The WAF includes evaluation of economic and social conditions at the watershed scale and is a way of integrating consideration of environment, economics, and social conditions in watersheds. The WAF acknowledges that humans and their activities are integral parts of watersheds and their ecosystems.

Goals describe desired outcomes for a watershed or similar place, through a particular project or program in a stated timeframe. In the case of the WAF, groups could set goals for the watershed, in which case they would be describing the desired outcomes for the watershed in some stated timeframe.