Urban Runoff and the Environment

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by J. J. Warwick,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Management in the '90s: A Time for Innovation

Abstract: This paper discusses complex water quality problems, including management of urban runoff. Mathematical modelling is used to asses runoff quantity and quality. Environmental impact on freshwater wetlands in the Puget Sound region is reviewed. Case studies for various areas in the US are discussed. A study to improve the understanding of opportunities for better water quality management practices in the Fox/Wolf River, Green Bay watershed in Wisconsin is reported. This investigation was initiated by a local citizen group concerned about inadequate funding for the implementation of the Green Bay Remedial Action Plan, RAP, a part of the International Joint Commission, IJC, sponsored effort throughout the Great Lakes. They created an organization called 'NEW Waters For Tomorrow' and obtained support from a number of public and private organizations, including the University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, to fund a one year study. The goal of the study is to learn more about alternative methods, especially cost effective methods, to continue improvements in water quality in the region. The alternatives, which include various combinations of point and non point source pollution abatement practices throughout the 6,600 square mile drainage basin, are under investigation by a three person interdisciplinary team including a biologist, a resource economist and a civil engineer. A brief historical review of the region and its water resource management challenge, is the introduction. The framework for the first year effort, based upon the integration of ecology, economics, technology and institutions, follows. Some preliminary results are presented next. Plans for the study completion and presentation of the results follow. Some comments on the possible transferability of the study approach to other areas with similar challenges end the paper. The Bonneville Power Administration has sought to increase numbers of anadromous fish in the Columbia River for many years. In spite of these efforts, numbers of some species have continued to decline while others increased. As a result, several species of Salmon from the Snake River portion of the Columbia River basin have been listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. This presentation will identify analytical tools used to assess fish mitigation measures and the changes in power production and marketing expected from implementation of the National Marine Fisheries Service Recovery Plan and the Northwest Power Planning Council's Fish and Wildlife Program.

Subject Headings: Runoff | Water quality | Urban areas | Water resources | Quality control | Rivers and streams | Fish management | Case studies | Bays | Great Lakes | Wisconsin | North America | United States

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