Establishing Local Water Quality Management Priorities

William P. Darby
Francis Clay Mc Michael
Robert W. Dunlap

DOI: 10.2190/XRP3-RFRB-RPE7-W6QK


A methodology which can be implemented by water resources regulatory authorities to establish local water quality management priorities for urban watersheds is presented. The model utilizes an approach to management which does not require extensive field sampling and investigation, but rather makes use of readily-available data. Indirect indicators of watershed characteristics and land use planning are used to predict overall water quality conditions of the watersheds. The methodology is applied to Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, a region which can be divided into eighty-two separate, independent drainage areas. Indirect indicators are used here to forecast the overall water quality of those watersheds for which no direct measurements exist, to single out problematic watersheds for possible regulatory action, and to identify those watersheds which should receive an in-depth study to characterize water quality conditions. This methodology is currently used by Allegheny County Health Department to establish implementation priorities for the small urban streams in the region.

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