In general, there are three types of indicators that are typically considered to exist:

All three indicator types are closely related. For example, the stress of a particular pollutant entering a system may cause a change in the condition of some species (ie: population decline) which may in turn cause a response of restrictions on the discharge of the pollutant. The additional restrictions reduce the stress which improves the condition. Condition and pressure indicators are predominantly used in assessing the state of a watershed. Response indicators are more commonly used to identify the various efforts being undertaken to address known environmental concerns.

Indicators may be further categorized according to the watershed element they represent (ie: water quality, watershed hydrology, landscape, biological community). This categorization often assists in communicating the relationship between the indicator and conditions within the watershed.

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Read more… about State of the Watershed indicators (con’t).