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Impacts of Land Cover Change during and After Urban Development

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

Citation:  21st Century Watershed Technology: Improving Water Quality and Environment Conference Proceedings, 29 March - 3 April 2008, Concepcion, Chile  701P0208cd.(doi:10.13031/2013.24318)
Authors:   B J Barfield, J C Hayes, S L Harp, M Chalavadi, S Yeri, E W Stevens, M D Alexander, B T Bates
Keywords:   Keywords: runoff, water quality, land-use change, best management practices, modeling

Clemson University data collected over the last six years show that rapidly developing watersheds experience substantial impacts to exported water quantity and quality as they undergo urbanization. The data are from developed, developing and undeveloped watersheds and include base flows and storm flows up to major storms caused by hurricanes and include extensive analyses of flow, nutrient, metals, bacterial indicators and macroinvertabrates. Building on that data, models will demonstrate What if ? scenarios during and after urban development for selected watersheds within Greenville County, SC, USA. SEDPRO predicts runoff and sediment loadings from watersheds in transition from undisturbed through development conditions and evaluates impact of stormwater ponds, sediment traps, ditch checks, vegetative filters and other control practices. In addition to peak discharge, trapping efficiency, and sediment discharge, the model also predicts discharged settleable solids to determine if structures meet design objectives. Results from each model reinforce data collected in the study areas and show that it is not realistic to expect current stormwater and sediment control practices to prevent environmental degradation within urbanized areas even if practices are designed, installed, and maintained to meet regulatory requirements. The results are also useful in demonstrating to decision-makers the importance of placement on the effectiveness of management practices, particularly as we consider low impact development.

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