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Assessing the Impact of Urbanization on Long Term Runoff and NPS Pollution in Muskegon River Watershed

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  032195,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.14958) @2003
Authors:   Zhenxu Tang, B. A. Engel, B.C. Pijanowski, K.J.Lim
Keywords:   urbanization, runoff, non point source pollution, NPS, GIS, modeling, Muskegon River watershed

Urban expansion is a major driving force altering local and regional hydrology and Non Point Source (NPS) pollution. To explore these environmental consequences of future urbanization, land use change was forecast and long term runoff and NPS pollution were assessed in the Muskegon River watershed, located on eastern coast of Lake Michigan. A land use change model, LTM, and a web-based environmental impact model, LTHIA, were used in this study. The outcomes showed the study area would likely be subject to impacts on runoff and some NPS pollution from urbanization. Urbanization will slightly or considerably increase runoff volume depending on the urbanization extent, slightly increase nutrient losses in runoff, but significantly increase losses of oil and grease in runoff and certain heavy metals. The spatial variations of urbanization and its impact were also evaluated at the subwatershed scale. The result of this study have significant implications for urban planning and decision making in an effort to protect and remediate water and habitat quality of Muskegon Lake, which is one of the Area of Concerns (AOCs) of Lake Michigan.

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