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Implementation Tools for a Developing Watershed The Regional Alcovy River Watershed Protection Plan

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The Alcovy River Watershed Assessment was the first comprehensive regional water quality study of the Alcovy River, located east of Atlanta beginning in Gwinnett County running through Walton and Newton Counties to Lake Jackson in Jasper County. The project included goal setting, data collection, field sampling, water quality modeling, plan development, and public participation. Water quality data were compiled from existing sources and fifteen monitoring sites were established throughout the watershed for collection of additional data. Hydrologic and water quality data were used to calibrate a computer model which simulated water quality for existing and future (2020) land use conditions. Variable land management implementation options were superimposed onto the default future scenario to predict the effect of certain policy tools on water quality. The goals, established at the start of the project, include the following:

Protect water supplies throughout the basin,

Develop and implement an economical, basin-wide approach for water quality protection with flexibility for individual jurisdictions,

Provide local governments with tools to facilitate decisions related to water quality,

Clearly define implementable strategies that meet state requirements for watershed protection,

Preserve the unique ecology of the Alcovy watershed and help to protect Lake Jackson,

Foster informed public opinion about the challenges and opportunities for water quality protection in the Alcovy watershed,

Involve the public in watershed protection planning and implementation,

Work with existing organizations and programs to create the foundation for an ongoing program of watershed protection.

After a brief summary of the elements and findings of this project, this paper will focus on the implementation options considered and the going forward plan for the protection of the watershed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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