State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007NY91B
Title: Modeling urbanization effects on water resources in Moodna Creek Watershed, NY: Developing a tool for community watershed management
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/28/2008
Congressional District: 25
Focus Categories: Water Quality, Non Point Pollution, Nutrients
Keywords: urbanization, water quality, water quantity, land use planning, site design
Principal Investigators: Limburg, Karin; Luzadis, Valerie
Federal Funds: $ 0
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 28,064
Abstract: Rapid increases in population and land development of an area pose critical threats to the quantity and quality of the water resources. The Moodna Creek watershed (466 km2) in Orange County, NY, exemplifies this growing environmental problem. As part of the fastest growing county in the state, the Moodna Creek watershed is of special concern. At a regional scale, the water problems of the Moodna Creek watershed include potential shortages of groundwater resources for drinking water and the contamination of surface and groundwater with non-point source pollutants and nutrients. In fact, rapid urbanization in the watershed has increased the frequency of dry wells in recent years.At a broader scale, degraded water quantity and quality have ramifications for the fish and wildlife that utilize the Moodna Creek and its tidal marsh, which have been designated as irreplaceable Significant Coastal Habitats by the New York State Coastal Management Program. In order to address effectively the problem of urbanization effects on water quantity and quality in the Moodna Creek Watershed, the question of how much, where, and what kind of future development can occur without impairing water resources needs to be evaluated. In our FY2006 WRI proposal, we outlined a project for modeling land use change on surface and groundwater resources. We proposed a plan for engaging the watershed stakeholders including government agencies in the modeling process. This proposal builds on the accomplishments of our work in 2006 and further addresses these problems by providing an instrument for gathering stream water quantity data and developing a distributed, hydrological modeling tool for community watershed decision-making.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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