Modeling Variable Width Buffer Zones with a Geographic Information System

by Gary Ostroff, New York City BWSWWC, Corona, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management: Saving a Threatened Resource—In Search of Solutions


It is possible to gain significant protection of water resources from nonpoint pollution with buffer strips, but frequently a single width strip is not appropriate. Geographic information systems with cartographic modeling capabilities make it possible to analytically size and map buffer strips that vary in width according to important local parameters such as slope and landuse. The resulting maps are an important indicator of areas that may be critical for nonpoint source pollution reduction.

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