If you didn’t get to log on to the February ILF webinar today, you can watch the archived session, which was an overview of “how-to” steps to identify areas in a watershed that could be used to improve water quality.
Mark Tomer, researcher at the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, has been looking at watersheds and applying conservation practices strategically within them to achieve the goals of the Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Of course, achieving these goals AND sustaining agricultural production is integral.
Using a 12-step process (which does not begin with ‘hello, my name is’), with several data sources including LIDAR, soil surveys, field boundaries and land use, you can identify places to apply appropriate conservation practices that will improve water quality within a watershed.
The final product is a watershed map that can be used as a “planning resource.” The map identifies areas for wetlands, riparian and re-saturated buffers, grassed waterways, sediment basins, controlled drainage and more. This is an invaluable tool that can be used by watershed improvement groups and landowners within the watershed when having the discussion of how and where to begin to improve water quality.