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Watersheds a.k.a. Drainage Basins and Stormwater Management

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Watersheds a.k.a. Drainage Basins and Stormwater Management Fertilizers on impervious surfaces Pfiesteria?? High nutirent loads entering surface waters can lead to ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Watersheds a.k.a. Drainage Basins and Stormwater Management


1
Watershedsa.k.a. Drainage Basinsand Stormwater
Management
2
What is a watershed?
  • Watershed a region or regions drained by, or
    contribute water to a stream, river, lake, or
    other body of water.
  • What does that mean?
  • Is PAHS inside of a watershed?
  • YES!

PAHS
PAHS
Delaware River
Atlantic Ocean
1
2
3
Watersheds and Drainage basins
  • Similar to a sink, any water that falls in the
    basin
  • drains to lower elevations
  • The drain is typically a larger body of water
    like a river or stream, lake then finally
  • ocean


4
A more basic definition
  • Land on which water falls by precipitation or
    snow melt and drains in a downward sloping
    direction

5
Properties of a Watershed
  • Involve infiltrated groundwater discharge and
    surface water in the form of runoff
  • Transport water all over the Earths surface
  • Include diverse environments urban, suburban and
    rural- lawns, forests, farms, parking lots,
    buildings, skyscrapers, etc.
  • Human activities have a great (usually bad)
    impact on them

4
6
Purpose of the Watershed
  • Provides a surface for runoff and infiltration
  • Temporary water storage
  • Transports the water to a larger body

7
Topography is Important!
  • Topography is a measure of elevation and the
    lands shape (a measure of how high or low the
    land around is.)
  • If you are at the top of a hill of the hill,
    where will the rain water go?
  • DOWN!
  • Have you ever seen a creek at the very top of a
    hill?

8
Watershed Divides
  • The high points that the water runs down from are
    called divides (Most call them ridges)
  • A divide is any ridge between 2 streams that
    splits a watershed
  • A divide can be a mountain or just a large hill.
    It can also be a range of hills.
  • Can you think of an area in Phoenixville that is
    a divide?

The Great Divide (Rockies) in red splits our
country into two major watersheds
9
A hill in Potter County, PA
Water drains in 3 different directions from the
top of this hill- hence the water will supply 3
different watersheds
Kimberton Hills Divides French Creek from the
Pickering Creek Watersheds
10
Watershed Borders
  • We will be determining which watersheds you live
    in by looking at the divides and whether your
    house lies between two divides.
  • Why are the divides the boundaries of the
    watersheds?
  • They are high elevation points

8
11
Associated Terms
  • Headwater- source of a river where it first
    originates
  • Mouth- where the river finally drains
  • Upstream- moving against the downward direction
    of the water
  • Downstream- moving with the downward direction of
    the water
  • Confluence- where two rivers, streams,etc meet
  • Divide- area of high elevation/topography that
    separates one waterbasin or watershed from
    another
  • Tributary- smaller branch of a river or stream

12
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13
Pennsylvania
  • All drain to the Atlantic Ocean
  • Pennsylvania is separated into 104 large
    watersheds.
  • These 104 can be separated even more into
    thousands of large (and small) watersheds/drainage
    basins.
  • There are 6 major watersheds/basins in or part of
    PA

Selected watersheds in Pennsylvania
14
PA Watersheds
  • Look at the map of PA.
  • Which watershed do we live in according to this
    map?
  • Delaware Watershed
  • Does anyone recognize those boundaries?

11
15
Pennsylvania waterbasins
Watersheds typically mark mountain or rivers so
they often also mark town, county and even state
boundaries!
11a
16
Great Lakes Basin
  • Most of this watershed lies outside of PA but
    some of it is in Erie.
  • Pennsylvania accounts for only 1 of the
    watershed
  • Drains north to Lake Erie and then to Lake
    Ontario
  • This is where the freshwater from that area will
    eventually drain into.
  • Even groundwater slowly drains into the basin
    because of elevation

17
Ohio River Basin
  • This watershed covers most of western PA and goes
    into Ohio and West Virginia too.
  • Second largest watershed in Pa
  • This covers Pittsburgh,
  • Headwaters are the Ohio River in Pittsburgh
  • The Ohio River is the largest river in the basin
    but the Allegheny and the Monongahela Rivers are
    also in here.
  • This basin provides drinking water for about 13
    million people!

18
Susquehanna / Chesapeake Basin
  • Largest watershed in PA
  • Contains the Susquehanna River (largest river in
    Pa) and the top of the Chesapeake Bay
  • Headwaters are in New Yorks Otsego Lake
  • Mouth is the Chesapeake Bay
  • Notice it falls between two divides, the one in
    Pittsburgh and the Appalachian.

19
Potomac Basin
  • Shenandoah River is the only major contributor in
    Pennsylvania
  • Drains north to south
  • Is mostly in Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia
    and Washington DC
  • Mouth is also the Chesapeake Bay

20
Delaware Basin
  • Yippee! This is our watershed.
  • Third largest watershed in Pennsylvania
  • Headwaters are in Hancock, NY
  • Ends in the Delaware Bay by Philly

21
More about the Delaware Basin
  • Delaware River has its head (the beginning of the
    river) located in New York State.
  • Its mouth is in the Delaware Bay towards Philly
    and NJ
  • Its delta (triangle wedge of sediment dropped
    when the river slows) often clogs the bay
  • The Schuylkill River and Lehigh Rivers are the
    largest in this basin and both tributaries of the
    Delaware

22
Why do we care about watersheds?
  • All life depends on the soil, water and air in
    that watershed.
  • If the water is polluted or not cared for then
    the ecosystems and life in them will perish!

18
23
Who drinks our water?!?
  • The Delaware Watershed covers parts of PA, NJ,
    NY, and DE.
  • 15 million people drink this water (5 of US
    population)
  • Much of this basin has been un-dammed and is
    therefore in good condition!

24
What is the big deal?
  • Acid Mine Drainage
  • Spinach E.coli Outbreak
  • Mercury and Cadmium Levels
  • Hormone Levels
  • Other Pollution
  • If it falls on the watershed it will likely end
    up in drinking water or the ocean!

20
25
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26
Can we manage water runoff?
  • Yes, through Storm water management.

Runoff on a 90 impervious surface!
27
Stormwater Settings
  • Rural
  • Open, unpaved, more free land and vegetation.
  • Ex. farmland
  • and forests

28
Stormwater Settings
  • Urban
  • More developed and citylike
  • A lot of asphalt and concrete, more impervious
    surfaces

29
Water Balance
Rural
Urban
If you pave and decrease infiltraton, RUNOFF
INCREASES!
30
Urbanization Stormwater Problems
  • More asphalt, less infiltration

31
Urbanization Stormwater Problems
  • Often urban runoff is dumped straight back to
    rivers and lakes without treatment

32
Urbanization Stormwater Problems
  • Impervious city aqueducts and levees dont allow
    infiltration, they aid runoff to supposedly
    prevent flooding.

33
Surface runoff
  • Picks up pollutants
  • hotspots ex. gas stations
  • Often flows right into streams
  • Increases flooding

34
  • Surface runoff out of the urban area it is often
    faster and has more volume
  • This increases streambank erosion and fills
    runoff with choking cloudy sediment!

35
Urbanization of a Floodplain
Increased runoff of Urban areas actually causes
more frequent floods
Predevelopment
Postdevelopment
36
Flooding can often be prevented with good
stormwater management practices and development
planning
37
Common runoff pollutants
Construction site sediment
38
Common runoff pollutants
Automotive chemicals
39
Common runoff pollutants
Fertilizer
40
Effects of Water Pollution
Fishkills
41
Effects of Water Pollution
Eutrophication Too much fertilizer causes algae
to overproduce and choke off the oxygen for all
other aquatic life!
Photo courtesy of NRCS
42
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43
What can you do?
  • Use methods that slow water en route to
    streams/lakes to reduce flooding and increase
    infiltration
  • Protect or plant shrubs/trees around a body of
    water.
  • Called a Riparian Buffer, These surround water
    and reduce pollution
  • You can also re-design your community using
    options that reduce environmental impact called

Low Impact Design
44
With rock,, plants and trees!
  • Create a shallow depression and plant trees and
    vegetation
  • Slows runoff buffer
  • Restores and increases infiltration
  • Decreases pollution
  • Decreases flooding

45
Bioretention basins
46
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47
NCSU-led Study in Greensboro 2002-2004
48
Chapel Hill Cell, C1
NCSU-led Study 2002-2003
49
Soil Stabilization
  • Cover soil with vegetation to reduce erosion
  • Turf Mats

50
Use Permeable Pavement
  • Allows for rainfall infiltration
  • Low traffic surfaces (driveways, parking lots,
    walk ways)
  • Used along coastal regions in areas of sandy soil

51
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52
Rainwater Harvesting
53
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54
Rainfall runoff doesnt have to go to sewers, it
can be drained into small gardens and
reinfiltrate into groundwater
55
Rain garden principles
  • Place between stormwater source and destination
    (between house and stream, low spots in yard, or
    street)
  • Soil and plants filter pollutant from water
  • Infiltration slows water runoff to decrease
    flooding
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