Watershed Education for Teachers. Cinde Thomas-Jimenez Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority

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1 Watershed Education for Teachers Cinde Thomas-Jimenez Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority

2 In This Presentation Why Watersheds Matter What Is a Watershed Water Quality Parameters Point Source and NonPoint Source Pollution (NPS) Impacts of Impervious Cover Four Categories of NPS Center for Watershed Protectio

3 Why should watersheds matter to me?! While folks may not always realize it, they place a high value on healthy watersheds Center for Watershed Protection

4 Healthy The trees, watersheds wildlife Watershed and We open love to canoe, hike mean space better were water certainly Planning quality and big helps camp along the river downstream. factors in our I to care decision reduce about every to chance we get. our pick river, this lakes lot. citizen We and didn t Retired Mechanic coasts mind paying - and I drainage vote. a little more to Despite live closer what to you nature. Protecting my watershed Naturalist complaints and will might think, it actually help ensure the health Lawyer helps maintain of my costs less to develop our property land for many crops to come. in a watershed tax friendly base. Small Farm Owner manner. Elected Official Clean water, trees and Homebuilder open space contribute to Streams It It s all There Watershed great flows health are Are to of cool Many live planning the next to is a the quality of life and help downstream, greenway, environment because indispensable where Reasons I can. so has I can bike.. for keeping our without catch and shaped drinking relax Why frogs healthy many after Watershed water and a long safe day. planning is attract business and Watershed regulations and pure tourists. watersheds, Protecting Computer world for stuff. future events. the cheapest form of increase Watersheds Consultant my our flood you generations. property insurance we Local Businessman can t watersheds History value. Grandmother catch Major big is fish. 1st Matter grader can Streams get, and are it helps a great Captain important Homeowner of fishing because protect troller place it public to teach our helps to save infrastructure, natural youth about the like areas that everyone bridges, natural utilities world and can enjoy. roads. around them. Middle School Student City High Engineer School Principal Center for Watershed Protection

5 Watershed Management Can Prevent Problems Like These: Pesticides Found in Local Wells Managing microbes from urban watersheds Managing microbes from urban watersheds can can be a daunting task, as bacteria are usually be a daunting task, as bacteria are usually present in high concentrations during storms, present in high concentrations during storms, come from many different sources, and follow come from many different sources, and follow many complex pathways to reach receiving many complex pathways to reach receiving waters. waters. In a recent survey released by the Environmental Protection Agency The review concludes that current scientists The review found an concludes alarming decrease that current in the number of trout. One of the stormwater stormwater practices, stream buffers and least understood practices, consequences stream buffers of urban and growth is the gradual but source source controls have a modest potential to seemingly controls inevitable have loss a modest of human potential uses to of surface waters. Even a reduce fecal coliform levels, but cannot reduce reduce fecal coliform levels, but cannot small amount of watershed development can lead to almost continuous them far enough to meet water quality reduce them far enough to meet water quality violations of bacteria standards for drinking, swimming, shellfish standards most urban settings. It is also standards in most urban settings. It is also harvesting or recreation during wet weather, and often during dry weather argued that current watershed practices have argued that current watershed practices have as well. as well. even less capability to remove pros in even less capability to remove pros in stormwater. stormwater. Watersheds are important to any community because they embody our sense of place in the landscape, and their waters are important in our daily life. Some of the many interactions between In ourselves a recent survey and urban released watersheds by the Environmental are Protection Agency scientists found an described. alarming decrease In an important in the number sense watersheds of trout. One are of the least understood consequences of urban the growth geographic is the gradual address but for seemingly our community, inevitable and loss of human uses of surface waters. Even a provide small amount a common of watershed and unifying development goal to rally can lead to almost continuous violations of bacteria around. standards for drinking, swimming, shellfish harvesting or recreation during wet weather, and often Managing microbes from urban watersheds during Communities dry weather quickly as well. find Indeed many it reasons can be argued that bacteria cause the greatest impairment of can be a daunting task, as bacteria are usually protect human uses local to our watersheds nation s waters whether and that it urban is stormwater ranks among the greatest sources because of Water bacteria. of economic benefits, Bills recreation, flood to present in high concentrations during storms, come from many different sources, and follow prevention, Bacteria scenery are considered or the overall a major quality water of quality problem for many water supplies. For many complex pathways to reach receiving life. example, Different bacteria groups were cited of people as the third often greatest have pollution concern in a national survey of 272 waters. their surface own water unique supply rationale utilities for (Robbins, protection 1991). Most water utilities treat and disinfect their watersheds. source Rise Some to remove may place bacteria 20% The review concludes that current a high before value it on is piped the to the customer. When bacteria levels are high, stormwater practices, stream buffers and aquatic however, community water utilities living in often these must waters, spend while more to treat their source water. Drinking water source controls have a modest potential to others treatment will costs be are more expected concerned to dramatically about reducing increase more stringent drinking water standards. reduce fecal coliform levels, but cannot reduce stream Some channel communities erosion still to the rely real on estate an unfiltered in water supply that uses reservoirs to their temporarily backyard. Next store Regardless drinking Year them far enough to meet water quality water of the before reasons, disinfecting it it and sending it along to their customers. standards in most urban settings. It is also is Prominent clear that examples most communities include much now of recognize the water the supply for Portland. Bacteria loads generated by value development For of whatever local in watershed these reason, watersheds protection. bacteria have continues raised to concern be argued that current watershed practices have about the purity of the drinking water supply highly resistant even less capability to remove pros in since water to treatment a watershed may approach. not be adequate This, to remove pros once they enter an unfiltered Farmland: A Vanishing Legacy When it comes to bacteria, most watershed managers have more questions than answers. Can a beach, shellfish or drinking water really be maintained in the face of watershed growth? Some of the answers to these difficult questions depend on many complex watershed factors, such as the density of development, Fish Populations Continue To Decline Shellfish Harvesting method sewage disposal, bacteria sources, actual water uses and weather conditions. Given that watershed managers are increasingly asked to control microbes, In a recent survey released this by article the Environmental seeks to present Protection a more coherent Agency framework for how bacteria can be scientists found an alarming managed decrease in in urban the number watersheds, of trout. and then One of applies the the general model to four specific least understood consequences watershed of urban types. growth The implications is the gradual for bacteria but management in each watershed seemingly inevitable loss of type human are uses reviewed of surface in detail, waters. with a Even strong a emphasis on the prevention and small amount of watershed development treatment of can new lead bacteria to almost sources. continuous The last section presents a six-step process to detect existing urban bacteria sources, as well Banned violations of bacteria standards for drinking, swimming, shellfish as a review of harvesting or recreation during practices wet weather, that can and eliminate often during or treat dry weather these sources. Communities across the nation are finding that The bacteria management model distinguishes two broad kinds of human uses: consumption as in drinking water and shellfish harvesting their water and resources contact such are as degrading in response to Beaches Close Again After Weekend swimming and other forms of water contact recreation. growth and Rains development. The model also They are also discovering evaluates use impairments in four kinds of watersheds, that they based can on their only density protect these local water and primary wastewater disposal technique. resources by thinking on a watershed-level. The settings of local watershed management efforts are indeed diverse. For example, some communities are trying to save salmon habitat in the Pacific Northwest. Yet other communities work at the watershed level to sustain trout populations in the Great water however, supply will system. change rapidly over the next few years as new or recycled regulatory programs are phased in. Perhaps the most significant regulatory development will be EPA s Total Maximum Daily Load program. Communities can create a single authority for an entire. Driver Swept Away by Flash Flood stormwater. The terms watershed and subwatershed are not inter-changeable. Readers will observe that throughout this handbook, the term watershed is used when referring to broader watershed management issues across an entire Lakes, to stem the decline in biodiversity of warm managing microbes from urban watersheds can water extend streams over in the several Southeast hundred to protect square endangered miles. be a daunting task, as bacteria are usually Salamanders. Microbes While from the urban settings watersheds and resource can issues be a present in high concentrations during storms, that drive daunting local task, watershed as bacteria protection are usually are diverse, present come from many different sources, and follow communities in high often concentrations find that many during of storms, the same come tools from many complex pathways to reach receiving and techniques many different appear sources, to work and in every follow watershed. many complex waters. pathways to reach receiving waters. The review concludes that current The review concludes that current stormwater stormwater practices, stream buffers and practices, stream buffers and source controls source controls have a modest potential to have a modest potential to reduce fecal coliform reduce fecal coliform levels, but cannot levels, but cannot reduce them far enough to meet reduce them far enough to meet water quality water quality standards in most urban settings. standards in most urban settings. It is also It is also argued that current watershed argued that current watershed practices have practices have even less capability to remove even less capability to remove pros in pros in stormwater. Communities can create a stormwater. A basin drains to a major receiving water such as a large river, estuary, or lake. Basin drainage areas typically exceed several thousand square miles and of ten include major portions of a single state or even a groups of states. Within each basin are single authority for an entire watershed or a series of smaller authorities at the. Center for Watershed Protectio

6 I m still not really sure what exactly a watershed IS. Center for Watershed Protection

7 What is a Watershed? Wb8XTo58

8 What Is a Watershed? A watershed is the area of land that drains to a particular point along a stream Center for Watershed Protection

9 EVERYONE Lives in a Watershed Center for Watershed Protection

10 Guadalupe River Basin

11 Guadalupe Basin Watersheds

12

13 Water Quality Water Quality = chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of water with respect to its suitability for a particular purpose or designated use. Chemical Physical Biological

14 Key Chemical WQ Parameters A measure of the substances dissolved or in particulate form in H 2 O. 1. Electrical Conductivity 2. ph 3. Dissolved Oxygen 4. Fecal Bacteria 5. Nutrients

15 Key Physical WQ Parameters A measure of water s natural attributes including: 1. Temperature 2. Total Suspended Solids 3. Turbidity 4. Streamflow

16

17 What causes water quality to become impaired?

18 Point and Nonpoint Source Pollution ALL of Texas river and coastal basins, estuaries, coastal wetlands, and bays have been impacted by point and/or nonpoint source pollution. Nonpoint source pollution is the primary cause of water quality problems in Texas! of impaired water bodies affected by NPS

19 Point Sources

20 4 Categories of NPS Pollution 1. Fecal Bacteria 2. Nutrients 3. Sediment 4. Toxic and Hazardous Substances

21 NonPoint Source Watershed Model - Enviroscape Modeling Stream Erosion and Deposition

22 Nonpoint Source Pollution Can Often Be the Result of Impervious Cover Lots of paved surfaces and other services that cover up the natural ground, (also known as IMPERVIOUS COVER), can have many impacts on a watershed.

23 There Are Many Different Types of Impervious Cover in the Urban Landscape Sidewalks Roads Driveways Parking Buildings Center for Watershed Protectio

24 Impervious Cover Can Change a Watershed in Just a Few Years Agriculture Under Construction Undeveloped Developed Existing Development Undeveloped Developed 1950s 1960s 1970s 1940s 1990s Center for Watershed Protection

25 NPS #1: Fecal Bacteria

26 Sources of Bacteria HUMANS

27 Sources of Bacteria DOMESTIC ANIMALS

28 Sources of Bacteria FERAL HOGS

29 Sources of Bacteria LIVESTOCK

30 Sources of Bacteria WILDLIFE AND OTHER NON-DOMESTIC ANIMALS

31 Sources of Bacteria ILLEGAL DUMPING

32 220 billion pounds of animal waste is produced every year in Texas - 90% of this is generated by cattle. 4.4 billion pounds of dog waste is produced every year in the United States alone! A single gram of dog feces contains 23 MILLION fecal coliform bacteria! Bacteria in water can pose severe risk to human health.

33 NPS #2: Nutrients Nitrogen Phosphorus

34 Sources of Nutrients FERTILIZER

35 Sources of Nutrients ANIMAL WASTE

36 Sources of Nutrients HUMANS

37 Sources of Nutrients COMPOST

38 Over 3 million tons of fertilizer is applied each year in Texas. Specifically for agriculture, fertilizer is applied on over 19 million acres of agricultural land at a cost of over ½ BILLION dollars! Over 50,000 septic systems are permitted in Texas every year 1 out of 6 are expected to fail.

39 NPS #3: Sediment Loose particles of clay, silt and sand that are found in soil Construction Sites Agricultural Production Streambank Erosion

40 In Texas, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually to control and minimize sediment pollution. Every year, Texas loses over 90,000 acre-feet of water storage capacity in its major reservoirs due to sedimentation. By 2060, Texas is expected to lose over 4.5 million acre-feet of water storage capacity.

41 NPS #4: Hazardous and Toxic Substances 1. Pesticides Insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc. From homes, businesses, industries 1 billion pounds used each year in the U.S.! 2. Toxic Chemicals Spilled oil, fuel, solvents, paints, etc. From homes, businesses, industries Cleanup is difficult and expensive

42 Approximately 50,000 different pesticide products are used in this country, composed of over 600 active ingredients. Texas spends approximately $350 million on pesticides annually! Toxic and hazardous substances can be extremely harmful to aquatic organisms and can cause severe human health problems.

43 Consequences of Impaired WQ

44 Consequences of Impaired WQ Economy Biodiversity Human Health & Happiness Poor Water Quality

45 Economy Millions spent annually to control and fix damage of point/nonpoint source pollution

46 Human Health & Happiness Contaminated water can cause rashes, ear aches, pink eye, respiratory infection, hepatitis, encephalitis, diarrhea, vomiting, and worse... Toxic chemicals in water can cause birth defects, cancer, neurological disorders, and kidney ailments.

47

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49 Middle School Lesson: The Power of Water High School Lesson: Connecting Classrooms and Communities Through Watersheds

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