Evolution and Application of Urban Watershed Management Planning
Mika, Melissa Lynn
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The development of Watershed Management Plans (WMPs) in urban areas aids municipalities in allocating resources, engaging the public and stakeholders, addressing water quality regulations, and mitigating issues related to stormwater runoff and flooding. In this study, 63 urban WMPs across the nation were reviewed to characterize historical approaches and identify emerging trends in watershed planning. Planning methods and tools were qualitatively evaluated, followed by statistical analyses to identify correlations between planning factors. Plans developed by a municipality or consultant were correlated to higher occurrences of hydrologic modeling and site-specific recommendations, and lower occurrences of characterizing social watershed factors. Trends in the use and selection of hydrologic, hydraulic, and pollutant load models were identified, specifically in the past decade. Project prioritization was found to increasingly focus on feasibility in implementation. Additional qualitative trends identified include an increased focus on water quality and interdisciplinary studies, public participation, responsiveness to water quality regulations, and risk aversion. The study concludes by envisioning future watershed planning trends. This state of the practice review of planning efforts, innovation in implementation, and the adoption of emergent technologies will aid future planners in employing current tools and strategies in the development of new WMPs.
- Masters Theses