What is the Watershed Health Assessment Framework?

The Watershed Health Assessment Framework (WHAF) is a structured, science-based approach to help resource professionals and citizens work together and grow our common understanding of Minnesota's complex natural resource systems.

The WHAF brings together current data and scientific analysis to generate information about Minnesota's watersheds. These products are delivered in a transparent and repeatable framework to foster robust conversations and innovative approaches for improving the health of Minnesota's watersheds and communities.

Watershed Health Assessment Framework Highlights

Interactive map

An interactive map provides easy access to view Minnesota's spatial data together with watershed boundaries.

  • Access GIS data, basemaps, charts and reports: Tools in the map let you view data, compare health scores, link to charts and download reports for a robust evaluation of watershed health.
  • Easy Watershed Delineation: With one-click, the "scale" tool reveals the watershed boundaries that influence a location, from local to large river basin. Add data and health scores to explore the relationship between health and watershed location.

Ecological health scores

Ecological health scores simplify and compare a range of resource conditions.

  • By creating science-based health scores, anyone can view a range of ecological health conditions across Minnesota. Data is collected from various sources to create a suite of scores. The same 0 to 100 (red to green) scale is used to deliver all the scores. Five ecological components organize the scores into different aspects of system health.

Key concepts

Key concepts underpin how we manage resources as systems.

  • The key concepts drive the format and delivery of all aspects of the Watershed Health Assessment Framework. These concepts include: health, scale, complexity and resilience.
  • Use cases integrate the concepts with resource management examples that apply the concept to watershed-based resource management.