A GIS-based inventory of sediment pollution for watershed restoration planning
Under the Clean Water Act, U.S. states are required to establish water quality standards, list impaired waterbodies and create Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) for impaired waters. Sediment contributes greatly to the water impairment in Tennessee, with agriculture often cited as the primary source. The watershed (catchment) in our study, Pond Creek, is listed as impaired for sediment and will require a TMDL and watershed restoration plan in the near future. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has developed an Integrated Pollutant Source Identification tool, consisting of aerial photographs, GIS database, and set of analysis spreadsheets to help plan watershed restoration efforts. We used this tool to assess sediment delivery from pastures, soil loss from eroding streambanks and riparian buffer condition in Pond Creek Watershed. We found that the user-friendly IPSI tool provides excellent maps and tables that can be used to educate farmers and other interested citizens, and to identify key restoration efforts.
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