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Project ID:2006NY81B

Title: Assessing the ecosystem services of open space for water resource protection in the Moodna Watershed, NY

Project Type: Research

Start Date: 03/01/2006

End Date: 02/28/2007

Congressional District: 25 and 19

Focus Categories: Water Quantity, Floods, Management and Planning

Keywords: urbanization, water quality, water quantity, land use planning, site design

Principal Investigators: Limburg, Karin; Luzadis, Valerie

Federal Funds: $20,000

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $29,089

Abstract: Orange County is the fastest-growing county in NY State and management of water quality and quantity is a major concern in terms of drinking water, biodiversity, erosion and flood control, and other priorities. The Hudson River/Moodna Creek is identified in the county's Open Space Plan as one of four Selected Priority Watersheds. The New York State Coastal Management Program has designated areas along the Moodna Creek as "irreplaceable" Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitats. Water quality is impacted by urbanization in the Moodna watershed, and these sites show symptoms of nutrient enrichment and other pollution. Water quantity is also impacted by urbanization, as large portions of the Moodna basin are dependent on groundwater for drinking water. Certain areas use wells directly connected to Moodna Creek. During a dry spell in 2005 the Village was forced to tap emergency wells and implement water conservation requirements due to low water levels. This dry spell was not considered a real drought. Ongoing development is expected to exacerbate the potential for water shortages both by increasing water demand and creating new impervious surfaces. Several municipal water districts in the Moodna basin use water from NY City's Catskill Aqueduct, and a proposed new pipeline could lead to increased withdrawals from the City's system to serve areas in and adjacent to the Moodna basin. Unless a more sustainable approach for managing water resources is adopted, these pressures are likely to increase. Land use planning and site design strategies can help to mitigate these problems. They include: open space protection, low impact development approaches for clustering, minimizing impervious surfaces, and optimizing treatment and infiltration of runoff. Acceptance and implementation of these strategies is dependent on demonstrating the future impacts of current practices and comparing them to the potential benefits of alternative planning and design scenarios. Such information needs to be communicated to elected and appointed officials, regulatory agencies, developers, and other stakeholders.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 02, 2009
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