Watershed Management Guide »

Best Management Practices (BMP):
Structural, vegetative and managerial practices implemented to control nonpoint source pollution.
Bedload:
Sediment particles that are carried by a water current along the floor or bed of a waterbody.
Confluence:
Point at which two or more watercourses intersect.
Critical area:
That part of the watershed that is contributing a majority of the pollutants and is having the most significant impacts on the waterbody.
Culvert:
A covered channel or a large diameter pipe that directs water flow below the ground level.
Designated uses:
Recognized uses of water established by state and federal water quality programs.
E. Coli:
Bacterium used as an indicator of the presence of waste from humans and other warm-blooded animals.
Erosion:
Detachment and movement of rocks and soil particles by gravity, wind and water.
Focus group:
Groups of individuals brought together to discuss a particular topic or situation.
GIS:
Geographical Information System: A system that analyzes and models data in a spatial context and displays digitally recreated map layers.
GPS:
Global Positioning System: A system capable of providing worldwide navigation and positioning by pinpointing locations.
Groundwater:
The surface water supply in the saturated zone below the water table.
Headwaters:
The origin and upper reaches of a river or stream.
Hydrologically distinct:
Defined by drainage basins or watersheds rather than areas arbitrarily defined by political boundaries.
Impervious:
A surface through which little or no water will move due to lack of pore space. Impervious areas include paved parking lots and roof tops.
 
Infiltration:
The penetration of water through the ground surface into the pores of subsurface soil or the penetration of water from the soil into sewers or other pipes through defective joints, connections or manhole walls.
Nonpoint source pollution:
Pollution caused when rain, snow melt, or wind carry pollutants off the land and into the waterbodies.
Permit:
An authorization, license, or equivalent control document issued by the EPA or an approved state agency to implement the requirements of an environmental regulation; e.g., a permit top operate a wastewater treatment plant or to operate a facility that may generate harmful emissions.
Point source:
The release of an effluent from a pipe, culvert, or discrete conveyance into a waterbody or a watercourse leading to a waterbody.
Pollutant:
Any substance of such character and in such quantities that when it reaches a body of water, soil, or air, it contributes to the degradation or impairment of its usefulness or renders it offensive.
Resource management system:
A combination of best management practices that, when installed, will at minimum protect the resource base by meeting acceptable soil losses; protect or improve water quality; and conserve plant, air, and animal resources.
Riparian:
Person who lives along or holds title to the shore area of a lake or band of a river.
Riparian corridor:
Areas bordering streams, lakes, rivers, and other watercourses. These areas have high water tables and support plants requiring saturated soils during all or part of the year.
Runoff:
That portion of the precipitation or irrigation water that travels the land surface and ends up in surface streams or water bodies.
Sediment:
Soil, sand and minerals which can take the form of bedload, suspended or dissolved materials.
Soil erosion:
The wearing away of land surface by wind or water. Erosion occurs naturally from weather or runoff, but can be intensified by land-clearing practices related to farming, residential or industrial development, road building or timber cutting.
Spatially referenced data:
Assigning specific geographic locations to data.
Stakeholder:
Any organization, governmental entity or individual that has a stake in or may be affected by a given approach to environmental regulation, pollution prevention or energy conservation.
Storm drain (storm sewer):
A soltted opening leading to an underground pipe or an open ditch that carries surface runoff.
Storm water:
Runoff from a storm, snow melt runoff, and surface runoff and drainage.
Surface water:
All water naturally open to the atmosphere (rivers, lakes, reservoirs, streams, wetlands impoundment, and seas).
Suspended solids:
Sediment particles in the water column and carried with the flow of water.
Topographic maps:
Land maps that display elevation along with natural and man-made features.
Topography:
The physical features of a surface area including relative elevations and the positions of man-made features.
Tributary:
A river or stream that flows into a larger river or stream at a confluence.
Vegetative controls:
Control measures or practices that usually involve the use of cropping systems, permanent grass, or other vegetative cover to reduce and control erosion.
Water quality:
The biological, chemical, and physical conditions of a waterbody, often measured by its ability to support life.
Watershed:
The geographic region within which water drains into a particular river, stream, or body of water. Watershed boundaries are defined by ridges separating watershed boundaries.
Wetlands:
An area that are regularly saturated by surface or groundwater and subsequently is characterized by a prevalence of vegetation that is adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Examples include swamps, bogs, fens, and marshes.
Windshield survey:
Conducting an inventory of the watershed via a motorized vehicle.

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