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Watershed Planning & Modeling

A watershed is an area of land that channels precipitation and water from high elevation to low elevation across the landscape through creeks, ditches, streams, and rivers, often ending in a body of water.  Through this program, we aim to understand the efficacy of watershed planning and modeling efforts in achieving water quality improvements.

Program Objectives

  • Provide technical and outreach support to community groups, watershed groups, and municipalities on water resource information, watershed management, water quality monitoring, and assessments, etc.
  • Develop inter-municipal arrangements and strategies to address watershed water resource challenges and needs.
  • Build the capacity of local watershed groups, municipalities, regional environmental groups, county agencies, and other partners.
  • Improve planning for and implementation of projects to improve water resources.

Research Questions

  1. What traits make local watershed groups effective? What can we learn from watershed efforts in NY and other states?
  2. How do watershed outreach and support correlate with stream water quality?  Do watershed outreach and stewardship lead to improved water quality in any measurable and significant way?
  3. On a tributary scale, what are reasonable and technically feasible approaches that stakeholders may use to monitor pollutants and determine pollution sources.
  4. How do different approaches to watershed planning influence the way physical hydrologic uncertainties within model calculations and results are represented and interpreted?
maps in major NYS watersheds, counties, and major cities and waterbodies
Major NYS watersheds