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Watershed Management Framework. Mission of watershed management

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Watershed Management Framework

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Watershed Management Framework

  • Mission of watershed management

    • Coordinate and integrate the programs, tools, and resources of multiple stakeholder groups to better protect, maintain, and restore the ecological structure and function of watersheds and support the sustainable uses of watersheds.


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Form Interagency Workgroup

  • Design and implement a framework to facilitate the transition from a program-centered to a resource-based approach to holistic management of watershed.


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Resource Management Goals

  • Conserve and enhance public health.

  • Conserve and enhance watershed ecosystems.

  • Support watershed resource use to achieve water quality standards and conservation goals.

  • Conserve and improve ambient conditions.

  • Reduce or prevent pollutant loadings and other stressors.


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Goals Achieved Through Operational Objectives

  • Identify indicators of watershed integrity

  • Increase communications and consensus among all stakeholder

  • Implement integrated solutions by coordinating activities on targeted watersheds

  • Provide a forum for program networking

  • Develop stronger partnerships with regional, county, and local governments

  • Coordinate public communication and education forums,

  • Coordinate existing means and develop new avenues for broad participation

  • Promote stronger resource conservation ethics


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Major Elements –

  • Stakeholder involvement

  • Basin-wide management units

  • Tool kit of programs

NRCS

Conservation Reserve Program

Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program

Wetland Reserve Program


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Forests as Source of NPS Pollution

  • Forests not a major source of NPS

    • Especially true in flat lands

    • Potential for erosion increases with slope and soil type

  • Forests used as buffer against more intensive land uses

    • Agriculture

    • Urbanization


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Knowledge of Precipitation Amounts and Patterns

  • Plan drainage structures

    • Size temporary culverts to handle storm events during period of operations

    • Size permanent drainage structure to handle 100 year storms


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Knowledge of Precipitation Amounts and Patterns

  • Time operations

    • Expose soil during dry periods if possible

    • Establish vegetative cover as soon as possible

    • Use native vegetation whenever possible


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What Happens to Precipitation?

  • Hydrologic cycle

    P = RO + ET + S, where

    • P ≡ precipitation

    • RO ≡ runoff

    • ET ≡ evapotranspiration

    • S ≡ storage


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Evapotransporation

  • Loss of water from a given area during a specified time by evaporation from the soil surface and by transpiration from the plants.

  • Supports plant life

  • Reduces water yield


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Relationship of Forest Cover to Water Flows

  • Erosion

    • Impacts of

      • Roads

      • Harvests

  • Water flows

    • Storm events

    • Storage

  • Water yield

    • Amount

    • Timing


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Timber Harvesting

  • Major factor in control of water quality in forested watersheds

  • Felling, limbing and bucking – avoid riparian zones and exclude slash from channel


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Timber Harvesting

  • Skidding and yarding – minimize soil compaction and disturbance

  • Use high lead systems in sensitive and steep areas


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Timber Harvesting

  • Roads and skid trails – layout and construct according to BMP’s


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Impact of Harvesting on Water Quantity and Quality

Stone, Swank, and Hornbeck. 1978. “Impacts of Timber Harvest Regeneration Systems on Stream Flow and Soils in the Eastern Deciduous Region,” Forest Soils and Land Use, Proceedings Fifth North Am. Forest Soils Conf.


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Low Flow

Water Yield

VH

VH

H

H

M

M

L

L

VL

VL

uncut

selection

shelter-

wood

clear-

cut

intensive

clearcut

uncut

selection

shelter-

wood

clear-

cut

intensive

clearcut

Peak Flow

Sedimentation

VH

VH

poor roads &

skid trails

poor roads &

skid trails

H

H

M

M

L

L

Good control of roads

& skid trails

VL

VL

uncut

selection

shelter-

wood

clear-

cut

intensive

clearcut

uncut

selection

shelter-

wood

clear-

cut

intensive

clearcut


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Dissolved Nutrient Loss

Nutrient Removal by Harvest – Average Annual

VH

VH

Thick organic layer

H

H

M

M

L

L

VL

VL

uncut

selection

shelter-

wood

clear-

cut

intensive

clearcut

uncut

selection

shelter-

wood

clear-

cut

intensive

clearcut

Maximum Stream Temperature

Reduction in Surface Soil Organic Matter

VH

Without shade

VH

H

H

M

M

L

L

With shade strip

VL

VL

uncut

selection

shelter-

wood

clear-

cut

intensive

clearcut

uncut

selection

shelter-

wood

clear-

cut

intensive

clearcut


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NPS: Sediment

  • Total suspended solids (TSS), i.e., sediment is major NPS pollution of concern

Cropland – 1 to 20 tons per acre per year

Forestland – 1 lb. to 0.5 tons per acre per year

Issue is amount of sediment loading relative to expected amount. Usually zero for streams in forested watersheds.


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NPS: Nitrogen

  • Water soluble

  • Some converted to gaseous forms by microbial action

  • Enters surface and goundwater


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NPS: Phosphorus

  • Major nutrient leading to water pollution

  • Binds to soil particles – correlated with silt load

  • Leads to low dissolved oxygen from excessive plant growth


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Logging and Forestry BMP’s

  • Planning

  • Roads

  • Skid Trails

  • Stream Crossings

  • Riparian Zones

  • Log Landings

  • Fuel


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Related BMP’s

  • Equipment breakdown and spills

  • Litter

  • Site preparation

  • Mechanical and hand clearing

  • Chemical site preparation

  • Planting and weed control

  • Forest chemicals

  • Fire and fire control lines

  • Woodland grazing

  • Recreation trails


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Streamside Forest as Sediment Filter

  • Sediment settles as speed of surface flow reduced by forest floor

  • Sediment is filtered out as sediment loaded water percolates into porous forest floor


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Benefits of Buffers

  • Control surface runoff and shallow ground water

    • Nutrients

    • Sediment

  • Shade streams

  • Ameliorate effects of some pesticides

  • Provide dissolved and particulate organic food for aquatic and terrestrial systems

Sheet erosion on crop land


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Underlying Principles of Buffers

  • Vegetation and soil filters sediments

  • Vegetation takes up nutrients which can be removed from portion of site by harvesting timber and forage.

Clearfield Creek in PA, stable structure but polluted by mine drainage


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Riparian Forest Buffer: Design


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Total Buffer Width: Streamside

  • Determine based on

    • Soil hydrographic group

    • Total area of source

    • Soil capability class


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Midwest Issue

  • Field drain tiles empty into drainage ditches that flow directly to waterways.

  • Methods need to buffer tile water before it enters ditches.

  • Nitrogen is pollutant


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Hydrology


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Water Movement Below Surface

  • Groundwater issues

    • Recharge areas

    • Inorganic pollutants

  • Soil trafficability

    • Location of roads and skid trails

    • Operating seasons

Abandoned wells are most common source of ground water pollution, not surface applied chemicals.


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Groundwater Issues

  • Groundwater recharge zones should receive special protection


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Management for Water Yield

  • Basic treatments

    • Removal of woody vegetation – limited application

    • Weather modification – not practical

    • Construction of “catchments” – best technique but with high ecological cost


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Control of Stream Flow Regimen

  • Objectives

    • Prevent deterioration of regimen because of altered land uses

  • Improve natural stream flow regime by management of hydrology

  • Rehabilitate deteriorated watersheds

Stable banks


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Primary considerations

  • Irregular flow

    • Volume of high and low flows

    • Duration of high and low flows

  • Capacity of structures to handle high flows

  • Management of aquatic ecosystems

Hyetograph


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Conflict Resolution

  • Watershed management involves multiple

    • Stakeholders

    • Landowners

  • High likelihood of conflicting

    • Values,

    • Cultures

    • Threat to economic security

The Colorado Internet Center for Environmental Problem Solving, University of Colorado


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Conflict Resolution

  • Resolution should be based on a participatory process led by non-stakeholder

    • Agree on discussion process

    • Identify points of

      • agreement

      • disagreement

    • Agree on major issues

    • Identify possible solutions

    • Implement representative solutions


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Forest Certification

  • Way to “guarantee” BMP’s are implemented for multiple objectives,

    • Water quality

    • Timber production

    • Biodiversity

  • Response to interest groups wanting to

    • Stop timber harvests

    • Buy products from sustainably managed forests

Forest Stewardship Council is a major certifying agency


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What Is Certification

  • Loose definition - Verification by a first-, second, or third-party of compliance with principles, objectives and performance measures established by a recognized organization.

  • Strict definition - Independent verification of conformity to a standard.


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Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)® Program

  • Sustainable Forestry

    • To practice forestry to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs by practicing a land stewardship ethic which integrates the reforestation, managing, growing, nurturing, and harvesting of trees for useful products with conservation of soil, air and water quality, wildlife and fish habitat and aesthetics.


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Definitions

  • Principle – The vision and direction for sustainable forest management

  • Objective – A fundamental goal of sustainable forest management

  • Performance measure – A means of judging whether an objective has been fulfilled


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