What is Targeting?

During a 2007 Conference Presentation, Charles Wortmann of University of Nebraska describes targeting as a “small and moving target”. Targeting is:

  • “The focusing of practices on specific places in the landscape where they will have the greatest benefit (small target)
  • and “the focusing of practices a specific times when they will have to greatest benefit (moving of changing target)”

Targeting is a dynamic approach to nutrient pollution reduction that addresses the diffuse nature of pollutants and places them in an interactive landscape context. It recognizes that nutrient pollution cannot be adequately addressed through traditional command and control approaches, and seeks to provide a framework addressing both biophysical and land management factors leading to high nutrient pollution concentrations.

In order to fully elucidate what targeting is an how it can meet pollutant reduction goals, here are some useful concepts and definitions:


Targeting of Watershed Management Practices for water quality protection

Wortmann, C.S. et al. 2008. Targeting of Watershed Management Practices for Water Quality Protection. University of Nebraska-Licoln, Heartland Regional Water Coordination Initiative.

This report provides an overview of essential considerations in targeting as well as overview on tools, technologies and resources that contribute towards an effective targeting program. This includes an introduction to the computer mapping and analysis tools available to land managers. While much of the information is foundational and general, their recognition of the importance of local knowledge within priority setting is of note, especially in light of much of the academic literature that focuses almost exclusively on scientific and/or economic dimensions of targeting.