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Nonpoint Source Water Pollution

nps_1_newsticker_toolkit

Plan

General Reference

Stakeholder Involvement

Critical Areas

  • Eagle Creek Watershed Management Plan Critical Areas Prioritization Methodology:
    • This watershed group used a scoring and ranking system to identify critical areas based on water quality and land use information. The methodology is laid out in sections VI (Subwatershed Assessment) and VIII (Critical Areas and Prioritization) of the plan.
  • Big Walnut Creek WMP Example of Critical Area Determination [DOC]:
    • The Big Walnut Creek Watershed Alliance (Putnam, Hendricks, and Boone Counties) used a variety of criteria to develop Critical Areas (i.e. Priority Subwatersheds) in the larger watershed. See the narrative and tables from their watershed management plan for an idea of how to develop your watershed critical areas.
  • IDNR Riparian Forest Buffer Prioritization Framework:
    • This model prioritizes watershed areas for riparian buffer establishment. Use this tool when riparian buffer establishment is a best management practice chosen for implementation. This manual is currently being developed – use the link above to contact Department of Natural Resources staff. A presentation about the tool [PDF] is available through the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation District’s website.
  • Wetland Function Assessment:
    • Many watershed groups cite wetland restoration as part of the strategy for remediating nonpoint source pollution in their watersheds. This tool provides a framework to prioritize wetlands for restoration, based upon the functions they will provide in the watershed. It includes a significant amount of GIS work.

Goal Setting

Action Register

  • Big Walnut Creek WMP Example of Action Registers [DOC]:
    • The Big Walnut Creek Watershed Alliance (Putnam, Hendricks, Boone Counties) developed strategies to address and implement the watershed management plan (WMP) goals, and documented their approach in action registers. See narrative and tables from their WMP for an idea of how to develop your watershed plan action register.

Load Estimate / Modeling

  • Chapter 9 U.S. EPA Handbook (Set Goals and Identify Load Reductions [PDF]:
    • Whether you need background information on how to estimate pollutant loads or guidance on selecting the best method for your particular watershed, this chapter is a great place to start.
  • Spreadsheet Tool for Estimating Pollutant Loads (STEPL):
    • STEPL consists of a series of Microsoft Excel worksheets that uses specific watershed characteristics from the user to calculate surface run-off and existing load estimates for nutrients, sediment, and five-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). Users can enter information on best management -practices (BMPs) to get load reduction estimates. Detailed instructions, FAQs, and tool downloads are available at this site.
  • Long-Term Hydrologic Impact Assessment (L-THIA):
    • L-THIA is an online interactive model designed to help community planners, developers and citizens quantify the impact of land use change on the quantity and quality of their water. This tool uses the land use and a soil characteristic from the user along with thirty years of precipitation data to determine the average impact that a particular land use change or set of changes will have on both the annual run-off and the average amount of several nonpoint source pollutants. For those unfamiliar with the hydrologic (water related) impacts of land use change, this tool along with the supporting documents will hopefully give the user enough information to start asking questions about land use changes in their area.
  • Region V Model:
    • This Microsoft Excel-based model provides spreadsheets to calculate load reductions of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus from selected agricultural and urban BMPs and bank stabilization. The model is based on the Universal Soil Loss Equation and you will need to input the Rainfall-Run-off Erosivity Factor (R), Soil Erodibility Factor (K), Length-Slope Factor (LS), Cover Management Factor (C) and Support Practice Factor (P).
  • Online Load Duration Curve:
    • Web based Load Duration Curve provides an interactive process to develop duration curves, which identify loading capacities relative to a target concentration. The program is based on the LOADEST model. The program requires input data for daily mean streamflow (in cfs) and constituent parameter concentration (mg/L, ug/L). This program requires a minimum amount of data to work properly and technical assistance to set up. Once you set up the program, you will be able to get duration curves or load estimates in a few seconds. Contact your watershed specialist to discuss your data requirements, which program might meet your needs and for assistance in downloading and running this program.
  • Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE and RUSLE2):
    • These models will help you to determine how much soil erosion was saved by the practices that have been installed in your watershed. Periodically compare the outputs from the models to your sediment goals to update your progress. A tutorial on RUSLE2 is available from the USDA.
  • Choosing BMPs: See "Restore" section

Who Can Help

  • Agency Responsibility Matrix [XLS]:
    • The process of watershed management involves activities under the jurisdiction of many state and federal agencies. Use this chart to find out who does what when it comes to watershed planning.
  • Finding the Right Partners [DOC]:
    • Watershed management requires the participation of many businesses, organizations, landowners, and agencies. It can be overwhelming to think about all the stakeholders who should be made aware of your efforts. Use this table to brainstorm organizations and individuals who should be contacted and assign people to contact them.

Watershed Toolkit: Table of Contents