Development of Watershed Scale Management Plans using Standardized Software Tools
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The development of watershed management plans to assess and forecast impacts of landuse changes on water resources has become a standard requirement in Georgia for local governments seeking expansion of wastewater discharge permits or increased water supply withdrawals. The watershed assessment and planning process consists of a number of components that estimate the contribution of pollutants from point and nonpoint sources. These components include data collection, watershed assessment, data analysis, and prediction of future conditions. The Watershed Characterization System (WCS) and Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Nonpoint Sources, Version 3 (BASINS3) have been developed to streamline the assessment and management plan development process by assembling environmental datasets and analysis tools. These programs aid the water resources manager by providing the basic framework which can be further enhanced with local data to aid in the management decision-making process.