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to address and manage these impacts. The impact analysis process is an excellent tool to be used as the guideline to develop the SOP. Furthermore, it a good practice to use a systematic approach to planning WQM projects (Ward et al. 1990). A systematic process com-monly employed to perform the planning phase of a monitoring activity is the data quality objectives process (DQO) devel-oped by EPA (Spooner and Mallard 2003). The DQO process consists of seven itera-tive steps; the ﬁ rst six steps are used to develop the data-collection design, while the seventh step combines all the infor-mation gathered in the previous steps and uses this information to decide what de-sign solution would be most effective, and to identify the most resource-effective da-ta-collection design. The impact analysis process is an excellent technique to apply when conducting the DQO process. Basically, the process of impact analy-sis has three phases: 1. Identiﬁ cation of the impacts to be assessed 2. Prediction of the main characteristics of these impacts 3. Evaluation of the implications of the im-pacts that cannot be mitigated (Sadler and McCabe 2002) To accommodate these phases to a surface water-quality monitoring project, four speciﬁ c activities are performed: 1. List all relevant human activates and environmental agents that can have a negative impact on the WQM project. 2. Identify WQM project aspects for each relevant human activity and environ-mental agent. 3. Identify the WQM project impacts. 4. Decision-making: Identify what type of measures, if any, will be applied to monitor, control, reduce, avoid, or offset the potential adverse effects of the im-pacts on the monitoring project. List all relevant human activities and environmental agents that can have a negative impact on the WQM project. Human activities can be deﬁ ned as a par-ticular action or actions taken by people to produce or attain some speciﬁ c outcome or to fulﬁ ll a need (Houben 2010). The hu-man activities to be considered are not limited to ﬁ eld activities or activities that 12 July/August 2012 www.stormh2o.com Figure 3. Example of a fishbone diagram Figure 4. Impact classes and characteristics take place in the monitoring inﬂ uence area (e.g., aerial application of pesticides). They can be related to any part of the monitoring project, such as training. An environmental agent is any biological (e.g., hydrilla verti-cillata ) or physical (e.g., an unpredictable weather event such as a hurricane) com-ponent of the environment. To identify, understand, or evaluate pos-sible impacts on the WQM project, the ﬁ rst task is to identify major human activities and environmental agents that may interact with the monitoring process so as to cause an impact. There are several management or problem-solving tools that can be used to ensure that the major human activities and environmental agents are considered during the assessment. The most com-monly used tools are brain-storming, checklists, matrices, cause-and-effect diagrams, di-mensional analysis, ﬂ owcharts, and mind-mapping (Sadler and McCabe 2002, Canter 2008, Morris and Therivel 2009). Commonly, these tools are applied in the information management procedure. The tools are designed by the impact analysis team to aid and facilitate information gath-ering, synthesis, and analysis for the par-ticular project. Identify WQM project aspects for each relevant human activity and environmental agent. Once the relevant human activities and environmental agents are determined, the WQM project aspects of each activity or agent must be identiﬁ ed. A WQM project aspect is any type of hu-man activity or any environmental agent that can interact with the WQM project (based on the deﬁ nition of environmental aspect (ISO 1996)). WQM project aspects can be thought of as the causes of the im-pacts; they are the elements of the human activities or environmental agents that can interact with the project and produce im-pacts. The relationship between aspects and impacts is largely one of cause and ef-fect. Impacts are the effects or outcomes produced on the project by the aspects. For example, a WQM project aspect could be an increase in fresh water in the moni-toring area by farm activity due to shoreline habitat destruction. One of the easiest ways to identify WQM project aspects is to employ a pro-cess ﬂ ow approach in the relevant activi-ties (Block 1999). This procedure breaks down the process into its main parts and displays the interconnection and sequence of these parts on a ﬂ ow diagram. A pro-cess ﬂ ow diagram is a graphical represen-tation of a process that delineates where each activity begins, transformation(s) that occur as part of the activity, and where the activity ends. Once the ﬂ ow diagram is completed, each process and activity is examined to identify associated aspects (Block 1999). The output of this step is a list of WQM project aspects that will be assessed to determine the type of impact (effect) that each one can have on the project objec-tives and data quality. Identify the WQM Project Impacts.
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