Why Watersheds

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Information about Why Watersheds

Published on March 14, 2008

Author: watershedprotection

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Find out why everyone should be interested in protecting their watersheds!

Why Watersheds? Center for Watershed Protection An introduction to the whys and hows of water resource protection

In This Presentation… Why Watersheds Matter What Is a Watershed Impacts of Impervious Cover What Your Community Can Do What YOU Can Do Center for Watershed Protection

Why Watersheds Matter

What Is a Watershed

Impacts of Impervious Cover

What Your Community Can Do

What YOU Can Do

While folks may not always realize it, they place a high value on healthy watersheds Center for Watershed Protection Why should watersheds matter to me ?!

There are many reasons why watersheds matter… Center for Watershed Protection Streams are cool because I can catch frogs and stuff. 1st grader Streams are a great place to teach our youth about the natural world around them. High School Principal Watershed planning is the cheapest form of flood insurance we can get, and it helps protect public infrastructure, like bridges, utilities and roads. City Engineer Watershed planning is indispensable for keeping our drinking water safe and pure for future generations. Grandmother Healthy watersheds mean better water quality downstream. I care about our river, lakes and coasts - and I vote. Naturalist

There are many reasons why watersheds matter… Center for Watershed Protection We love to canoe, hike and camp along the river every chance we get. Retired Mechanic The trees, wildlife and open space were certainly big factors in our decision to pick this lot. We didn’t mind paying a little more to live closer to nature. Lawyer Watershed regulations increase my property value. Homeowner Clean water, trees and open space contribute to the quality of life and help attract business and tourists. Local Businessman It all flows downstream, so without healthy watersheds, you can’t catch big fish. Captain of fishing troller

There are many reasons why watersheds matter… Center for Watershed Protection Watershed Planning helps to reduce citizen drainage complaints. Elected Official Despite what you might think, it actually costs less to develop in a watershed friendly manner. Homebuilder It’s great to live next to a greenway, where I can bike and relax after a long day. Computer Consultant The health of the environment has shaped many world events. History Major Protecting my watershed will help ensure the health of my land for many crops to come. Small Farm Owner

Watershed Management Can Prevent Problems Like These: Center for Watershed Protection Pesticides Found in Local Wells      – Farmland: A Vanishing Legacy     Fish Populations Continue To Decline   Shellfish Harvesting Banned   Beaches Close Again After Weekend Rains  ’          Driver Swept Away by Flash Flood Water Bills to Rise 20% Next Year ’





Center for Watershed Protection I’m still not really sure what exactly a watershed IS.

What Is a Watershed? A watershed is the area of land that drains to a particular point along a stream Center for Watershed Protection

EVERYONE Lives in a Watershed Center for Watershed Protection

Center for Watershed Protection OK, now I know that I live in a watershed … what types of things can affect the health of my watershed? High levels of paved surfaces, or impervious cover, can have many impacts on a watershed.

Many Forms of Impervious Cover in the Urban Landscape Roads Parking Buildings Sidewalks Driveways Center for Watershed Protection

Undeveloped Agriculture Existing Development Undeveloped Center for Watershed Protection Impervious Cover Can Transform a Watershed in Just a Few Years 1940s

1950s Agriculture Undeveloped Existing Development Undeveloped Center for Watershed Protection Impervious Cover Can Transform a Watershed in Just a Few Years

1960s Agriculture Undeveloped Existing Development Undeveloped Center for Watershed Protection Impervious Cover Can Transform a Watershed in Just a Few Years

Developed 1970s Agriculture Existing Development Developed Center for Watershed Protection Impervious Cover Can Transform a Watershed in Just a Few Years

Developed 1990s Under Construction Existing Development Developed Center for Watershed Protection Impervious Cover Can Transform a Watershed in Just a Few Years

Stream Quality Is Related to Impervious Cover In a forest, rain soaks into the ground and is either taken up by tree roots or continues to move down through the soil and into the groundwater. When rain falls on impervious cover, it cannot soak into the ground and instead becomes stormwater runoff. Impervious cover produces 16 times more stormwater runoff than forest. Center for Watershed Protection

In a forest, rain soaks into the ground and is either taken up by tree roots or continues to move down through the soil and into the groundwater.

When rain falls on impervious cover, it cannot soak into the ground and instead becomes stormwater runoff.

Impervious cover produces 16 times more stormwater runoff than forest.

Stream Quality Is Related to Impervious Cover 8-10 % 20 % 30% > 65% < 5% Center for Watershed Protection Impervious Cover

10% 40% 25% Good Fair Poor Watershed Impervious Cover Stream Quality 60% 100% Sensitive Impacted Damaged Impervious Cover Model Severely Damaged Relationship Between Impervious Cover and Stream Quality Center for Watershed Protection

Center for Watershed Protection But I want to know exactly HOW impervious cover affects stream quality. Wow, there really is a relationship between impervious cover and stream health!

How Impervious Cover Impacts Stream Quality Plant and Animal Habitat Impervious Cover Influences: Dry & Wet Weather Stream Flow Water Quality Center for Watershed Protection Channel Shape and Size

Plant and Animal Habitat

Dry & Wet Weather Stream Flow

Water Quality

Channel Shape and Size

Impervious Cover Influences Dry Weather Stream Flow Center for Watershed Protection Many streams draw from groundwater Impervious surfaces can block water from contributing to groundwater supply This can result in lower stream flows during dry weather

Impervious Cover Influences Wet Weather Stream Flow When it rains, a large amount of water . . . Enters the stormdrain system Is directed straight to the stream Runs off of impervious surfaces Center for Watershed Protection

More Frequent Flooding Center for Watershed Protection Impervious Cover Influences Wet Weather Stream Flow Higher Flood Levels The large amount of stormwater runoff in the stream system can cause:

Impervious Cover Influences Stream Shape and Size Center for Watershed Protection Large amounts of stormwater runoff due to impervious cover can: Erode stream banks, making the banks steeper and the channel wider Cause straightening of the channel Deposit soil on the stream bottom, making the stream more shallow

Erode stream banks, making the banks steeper and the channel wider

Cause straightening of the channel

Deposit soil on the stream bottom, making the stream more shallow

Center for Watershed Protection Pollutants build up on impervious surfaces and wash off into the stream system when it rains. Impervious Cover Influences Water Quality

Center for Watershed Protection Oil & Grease Bacteria Pesticides Nutrients Muddy Water Heavy Metals (e.g. Zinc, Copper, Lead) Harmful Pollutants in Runoff

Impervious Cover Influences Habitat Quality Loss of Habitat Variety Loss of Stream Buffer Smothering of Habitat by Sediment Deposits Center for Watershed Protection Impervious cover changes the natural stream environment, resulting in:

Photo Source: Bruce Hemboldt Impervious Cover Influences Aquatic Life Aquatic Insects Amphibians Fish Waterfowl Impervious Cover affects many kinds of wildlife: Center for Watershed Protection

As the amount of impervious cover increases, the number and diversity of aquatic species decreases. Impervious Cover Influences Aquatic Life Center for Watershed Protection

So what does all this mean for the future of streams? With proper management, every stream can be improved.

What It Means for Streams Center for Watershed Protection Diagnosis: Healthy stream Good water quality Supports diverse aquatic life Potential to be excellent Very vulnerable to development Prescription: Requires greatest level of protection, including land conservation Sensitive Streams Diagnosis: Classic suburban stream Water quality depends on watershed protection techniques Can support fairly diverse aquatic life Streambank erosion noticeable Prescription: Requires extensive protection, including stormwater management. Impacted Streams < 10% Impervious Cover 10-25% Impervious Cover

Diagnosis:

Healthy stream

Good water quality

Supports diverse aquatic life

Potential to be excellent

Very vulnerable to development

Diagnosis:

Classic suburban stream

Water quality depends on watershed protection techniques

Can support fairly diverse aquatic life

Streambank erosion noticeable

What It Means for Streams Diagnosis: Channel highly eroded Poor water quality Supports very few species, no sensitive species Use of stream limited by health concerns Prescription: Careful restoration and stewardship can improve water and habitat quality Damaged Streams Diagnosis: Channels are highly modified and have few natural features Poor water quality and limited aquatic life Does not support many human uses, like fishing Prescription: Pollution prevention can help reduce pollutants delivered downstream Severely Damaged Streams Center for Watershed Protection 25-60% Impervious Cover >60 % Impervious Cover

Diagnosis:

Channel highly eroded

Poor water quality

Supports very few species, no sensitive species

Use of stream limited by health concerns

Diagnosis:

Channels are highly modified and have few natural features

Poor water quality and limited aquatic life

Does not support many human uses, like fishing

Center for Watershed Protection So impervious cover can impact watersheds in many ways … … but is there a way our community can protect its streams? Yes! No matter where your watershed is, communities can use eight different tools to help mitigate the impacts of impervious cover.

Center for Watershed Protection 1.Land Use Planning

Tool #1 Land Use Planning Addresses the degree and location of future development expected in a watershed Center for Watershed Protection Is perhaps the single most important watershed protection tool

Addresses the degree and location of future development expected

in a watershed

Is perhaps the single most

important watershed

protection tool

Land Use Planning Choices Center for Watershed Protection 2 Acre Residential Industrial Commercial Townhome Residential ½ Acre Residential

Big Creek Center for Watershed Protection Land Use Planning Choices Little Creek Watershed Zoning Map 2 ac Residential 1 ac Residential Multifamily Residential Commercial Industrial Agriculture ½ Acre Residential

Watershed Planning Watershed plans assess stream conditions and outline strategies to maintain or restore their condition. Center for Watershed Protection

Tool #2 Land Conservation The goal of land conservation is to keep the most important and vulnerable parts of the watershed undisturbed. Center for Watershed Protection

The goal of land conservation is to keep the most important and vulnerable parts of the watershed undisturbed.

Critical Habitats Aquatic Corridor Forests and Farmlands Water Pollution Hazards 5 Types of Conservation Areas Cultural Areas Center for Watershed Protection

Identifying and Protecting Areas for Conservation Center for Watershed Protection

Tool #3 Aquatic Buffers An aquatic buffer is a transition zone between a developed area and a waterbody Center for Watershed Protection Benefits of Buffers: Flood control Increase property value Habitat for wildlife Wetland protection Pollutant reduction

An aquatic buffer is a transition zone

between a developed area and a waterbody

Benefits of Buffers:

Flood control

Increase property value

Habitat for wildlife

Wetland protection

Pollutant reduction

Buffer Width Center for Watershed Protection

Not so good Good Center for Watershed Protection

NCRS Photo Gallery, 2000 Not so good Good Good Center for Watershed Protection

Tool #4 Better Site Design Better site design reduces impervious cover, conserves natural areas, and provides stormwater treatment Better site design can be applied to new residential and commercial developments Center for Watershed Protection

Better site design reduces impervious cover,

conserves natural areas, and provides

stormwater treatment

Better site design can be

applied to new residential

and commercial developments

Street Width Not so good Good Center for Watershed Protection

Not so good Good Conventional Subdivision Cluster Subdivision Center for Watershed Protection

Not so good Good Rooftop Runoff Good Center for Watershed Protection

Vicki Bohnhoff, 1999 http://www.invisiblestructures.com Green Parking Lots Center for Watershed Protection Not so good Good

Tool #5 Erosion & Sediment Control Center for Watershed Protection Preventing soil erosion during construction is essential for protecting streams

Preventing soil erosion during construction is

essential for protecting streams

During construction, vegetation is cleared and the development site is graded to create a buildable landscape. With the trees and topsoil removed, soils are particularly susceptible to erosion. Center for Watershed Protection Without proper control measures, sediment from the site can run off and choke nearby streams.

Silt Fence Hydroseeding Erosion and Sediment Control Techniques Check dams Sediment Basin Center for Watershed Protection www.i-hydroseeding.com

Tool #6 Stormwater Management Stormwater is managed by practices that temporarily store runoff and remove pollutants. Center for Watershed Protection Types: Ponds Wetlands Infiltration Filtration Open Channels

Stormwater is managed by practices that

temporarily store runoff

and remove pollutants.

Types:

Ponds

Wetlands

Infiltration

Filtration

Open Channels

Ponds Wetlands Filters Infiltration Open Channels Stormwater Management Center for Watershed Protection

Tool #7 Other Pollution Sources In addition to stormwater runoff there are other contributors to pollution: Septic Systems Sanitary Sewer Overflows Industrial Discharges Confined Animal Feeding Lots Illicit Discharges Marinas Center for Watershed Protection

In addition to stormwater runoff there are other contributors to pollution:

Septic Systems

Sanitary Sewer Overflows

Industrial Discharges

Confined Animal Feeding Lots

Illicit Discharges

Marinas

Confined Animal Feed Lots Illicit Discharges Failing Septic Systems Sanitary Sewer Overflows Center for Watershed Protection Non-Stormwater Discharges

Types of watershed stewardship programs: Watershed Advocacy Watershed Maintenance Monitoring Restoration Education Tool #8 Watershed Stewardship Center for Watershed Protection

Types of watershed stewardship programs:

Watershed Advocacy

Watershed Maintenance

Monitoring

Restoration

Education

Maintenance Monitoring Restoration Center for Watershed Protection Types of Watershed Stewardship Advocacy Education

I don’t litter… I don’t run a factory… I don’t control development… I’m only one person… So what can I do to make a difference??! Center for Watershed Protection

Understanding How You Might Contribute to the Problem 15 million 43 million 3 million 15 million 27 million 16 million 38 million Number of People Engaging in Excessive Behavior Center for Watershed Protection

1. Water Only Where & When It’s Really Needed Top Ten Things You Can Do to Protect Your Watershed 2. Limit Use of Pesticides & Fertilizers 3. Plant Native Vegetation Center for Watershed Protection

5. Dispose of Pet Waste Properly 6. Carefully Choose Where to Wash Your Car Top 10 Things You Can Do to Protect Your Watershed Center for Watershed Protection 4 . Redirect Rooftop Runoff

8. Recycle and Dispose of Household Chemicals Properly 9. Properly Maintain Septic System 7. Properly Maintain Vehicles Center for Watershed Protection Top 10 Things You Can Do to Protect Your Watershed

10. Join a Watershed Organization ! 10. Join a Watershed Organization ! Learn more about your watershed and its unique qualities! Be involved in the future of your environment! Find out what the land development plans are for your area! And the best thing you can do for your watershed is… Center for Watershed Protection

For more information on watershed protection, visit the Center for Watershed Protection online at http://www.cwp.org

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