A good planning objective will describe an end, not a means to an end. The objective will contain an action verb, like "increase" or "improve." The objective should be based on a problem or opportunity. The time and place for action should be specific.
Step 1. Describe the problems in a sentence or two. For example, "During a recent drought, Green River reservoirs to were too low to make releases for whitewater rafting. As a result, rafters could not use the Green River, and outfitters, restaurants, shopping malls, and hotels lost millions of dollars in expected revenue."
Step 2. Use an action phrase that expresses what the team is trying to do (increase, enhance, reduce, mitigate, etc.) regarding a resource (water withdrawal, instream flows, etc.) in the context of the perceived value of the resource (M&I uses, fish habitat, etc.). For example, " ... increase the reliability of whitewater rafting ..."
Step 3. Add to that clause (verb, resource and context), the geographic area of concern
" . . . between Ogle Point and Deadman's Whirlpool . . ."
Step 4. Add the dimension of time. Say when you're trying to achieve this objective, and speculate on whether the challenge will become harder to meet in the future. For example, if Fairweather municipal water use is expected to increase in the future, then those water withdrawals may make it even harder to provide whitewater releases. For example, if the other water uses are expected to remain the same or diminish, then the time component of this objective might be " . . . during future droughts." The chance of a problem in 2010 is about the same as in 2030.
If the competition for water is expected to increase over time, then it's important to describe the planning period, because the solutions that work for 2010 may not work for 2030. For example, " . . .during droughts from 2000 to 2040."
Verbs commonly used in the action phrase include: advance, compensate for, conserve, contribute to, control, create, destroy, develop, eliminate, enforce, enhance, establish, exchange, improve, maintain, manage, minimize, mitigate, preserve, produce, promote, protect, provide, reclaim, reconstruct, recover, recreate, rectify, reduce, rehabilitate, repair, replace, restore, retire, stabilize, or substitute.