Usefulness of Low-Cost Watershed Monitoring: A Case Study

by James G. Turek, Harms & Associates, Inc, Pasadena, United States,
David W. Blaha, Harms & Associates, Inc, Pasadena, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


A one-year monitoring study was conducted for Harford County, Maryland to identify water quality problems and sources in the 98 mi2 Bush River watershed. Nine water quality parameters were sampled biweekly from 24 stations during base and storm flows. High nutrient concentrations, instream temperatures, and bacterial counts were identified, and attributed to unmanaged agricultural and urban runoff, and failing septics. Findings were used to recommend changes in local development regulations and farming practices. We encourage local governments to conduct low-cost monitoring to develop technically-based and defensible watershed management programs.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Watersheds | Rivers and streams | Water resources | Case studies | Benefit cost ratios | Water management | Maryland | United States

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