We present a multilevel community capacity model that responds to the question: What human community conditions, characteristics, and interactions are essential for sustainable watershed management? Specifically, we review relevant literature associated with community responses to ecological change. We examine the concept of community capacity and describe our theoretical model for understanding, assessing, and building community capacity for water resource protection, restoration, and enhancement projects. The multilevel model offers practical insight into individual actions, relationships, organizational structures, and coordinating policies that will enhance watershed planning and have cross-cutting implications for ecological and social system health. We believe this framework will foster resilient, adaptive, and transformative communities that are better equipped to plan for and respond to water resource threats at multiple scales.
- community capacity
- watershed management