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Integrating water quality management & landuse planning in a watershed context

34 X. Wang only to serve

34 X. Wang only to serve the community which adopt the plan. In the United States, land-use planning is implemented at local community level (municipal or county) (Thomas and Furuseth, 1997) and consequently non-local interests are not considered equally in landuse planning decision-making. For example, typical land-use suitability and feasibility analyses often are limited to the proposed property and immediately surrounded areas. Water-quality issue is usually not sufficiently studied in land-use planning. The impact of urban land uses on river water quality demonstrated in this study suggests that the known land–water relationship is significant enough for planners and decision-makers to pay proper attention to water-quality issues in evaluating plans and facilitating collaborations. Achieving the sustainable management of water and land resources could be a major consideration in exploring planning alternatives within a watershed. After realizing the water-quality problems related to non-point sources and the loss of aquatic habitat, the US EPA has been promoting an ecologicalbased watershed protection approach (WPA) (Brady, 1996). The WPA delineates a geographic area based on its natural characteristics—a watershed—and the stakeholders whose activities are on water or land within the watershed are involved in defining problems, set priorities, and implement solutions (Davenport et al., 1996). The LMR study shows that the WWTPs alone may not significantly affect the water quality while the combined affect from point sources (WWTPs, TRIs, IFDs) and non-point sources (urban land) can be reflected in the water-quality data. At present, only point sources are regulated by environmental agencies such as OEPA in LMR watershed while non-point sources are unregulated. This study result shows that such management may not be effective in water quality protection. The finding reinforces the notion that management of point and non-point sources should be coordinated. Such effort involves all levels of government, other agencies and stakeholders in a structured and focused process since a sustainable community is interconnected with surrounding communities and the sustainability of a larger region is supported by the collaboration of these communities (Thomas and Furuseth, 1997). Proper land-use planning within a watershed can protect water quality and reach economic goals. Although watersheds are increasingly viewed as appropriate natural spatial unit for planning and for sustainable water resources management, watersheds have not received as much attention in land-use planning field as that in the biological and environmental studies. This may be attributed to the nature of traditional planning practice. Watersheds are often divided into areas that are under different planning and political jurisdictions and the coordination among them is often minimal. With more studies demonstrating that the effects of human activities can and do cross political boundaries the development and implementation of water-quality-based watershed land-use plans should be viewed as an integrated and holistic approach. The LMR study demonstrates several evidences that call for integration of waterquality management and land-use planning to aim at water uses in a manner that will maximize the socio-economic benefits to the society without jeopardizing the balance of the resource-related ecosystems. Although water chemistry in the LMR watershed was at good condition, biotic indicators have picked up the effect of human activities on the water quality. Such effect is a combination of point and non-point sources, which are connected with land uses in the watershed, and the riparian habitat quality. The relationship between water quality of receiving rivers and land uses in a watershed indicates that increasing population pressure in a watershed is resulting in increasing loads of nutrients and other pollutants which may cause severe degradation of water quality and consequent use impairments of the water bodies. The integration of water-quality management and land-use planning can promote protecting the biotic quality and habitat health and preventing pollution from happening, which serves the purpose of protecting water quality and maintaining ecologically and economically healthy land development. The study also demonstrates that the river biological integrity is strongly related to the habitat health (Tables 4 and 5). This linkage suggests that the goal of protecting water quality through land-use planning can and should be achieved through habitat protection. Maintaining a healthy habitat can help to improve water quality and promote

Water-quality and land-use planning 35 biodiversity and preserve landscape features and the aesthetic appeal of the watershed. A good example of such integration is to develop riverside corridors that can have many benefits such as protecting water quality, enhancing biological diversity and minimizing soil erosion. As water quality and land-use data become more accessible, planners and policy-makers at different levels should bring stakeholders together to substantially increase the health of the environment by identifying sources of the problems, understanding the relationship between the sources and consequences, and searching for solutions to these problems. This study shows that such effort can be at a local level, such as protect and improve riparian habitat through a variety of planning practices such as vegetation buffers along rivers and better management of discharges into the river. The protection of river also extends to land uses in the entire watershed, which requires a more regional collaboration. Acknowledgements The author thanks Scott Dyer and Charlotte White who provided data and initiated the study, and the anonymous reviewers who contributed through discussions and comments for this manuscript. References Angermier, P. L. and Karr, J. R. (1986). Applying an index of biotic integrity based on streamfish communities: considerations in sampling and interpretation. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 6, 418–429. Brady, D. J. (1996). The watershed protection approach. Water Science and Technology 33, 17–21. Davenport, T. E., Phillips, N. J., Kirschner, B. A. and Kirschner, L. T. (1996). The watershed protection approach: a framework for ecosystem protection. Water Science and Technology 33, 23–26. Dyer, S. D., White-Hull, C. E., Wang, X., Johnson, T. D. and Carr, G. J. (1998a). Determining the influence of habitat and chemical factors on instream biotic integrity for a Southern Ohio watershed. Journal of Aquatic Ecosystem Stress and Recovery 6, 91–110. Dyer, S. D., White-Hull, C. E., Johnson, T. D., Carr, G. J. and Wang, X. (1998b). The importance of space in understanding the risk of multiple streesors on the biological integrity of receiving waters. Journal of Hazardous Materials 61, 37–41. Elnaggar, M. E., Shaabandessouki, S. A., Abdelhamid, M. I. and Elham, M. A. (1997). Effect of treated sewage on the water-quality and phytoplankton population of Lake Manzala (Egypt) with emphasis on biological assessment of water quality. Microbiologica 20, 253–276. Frenzel, S. A. (1990). Effects of municipal wastewater discharges on aquatic communities, Boise River, Idaho. Water Resources Bulletin 26, 279–287. Hall, L. W., Fischer, S. A., Killen, W. D., Jr, Scott, M. C., Ziegenfuss, M. C. and Anderson, R. D. (1994). Status assessment in acid-sensitive and non-acid-sensitive Maryland coastal plain streams using an integrated biological, chemical, physical, and land-use approach. Journal of Aquatic Ecosystem Health 3, 145–167. Haycock, N. E. and Muscutt, A. D. (1995). Landscape management strategies for the control of diffuse pollution. Landscape And Urban Planning 31, 313–321. Karr, J. R. and Dudley, D. R. (1981). Ecological perspectives on water quality goals. Environmental Management 5, 55–68. Khan, I. S. (1991). Effect of urban and industrialwastes on species-diversity of the diatom community in a tropical river, Malaysia. Hydrobiologia 224, 175–184. Lenat, D. R. and Crawford, J. K. (1994). Effects of land use on water quality and aquatic biota of three North Carolina Piedmont streams. Hydrobiologia 294, 185–199. Norris, R. H. and Norris, K. R. (1995). The need for biological assessment of water-quality, Australian perspective. Australian Journal of Ecology 20, 1–6. OEPA (1987). Users Manual for Biological Field Assessment of Ohio Rivers and Streams. Division of Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment. Columbus, OH: Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. OEPA (1988). The Role of Biological Data in Water Quality Assessment. Vol 1. Biological Criteria for the Protection of Aquatic Life. Columbus, OH: State of Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. OEPA (1989). Biological Criteria for the Protection of Aquatic Life: Volume III: Standardized Biological Field Sampling and Laboratory Methods for Assessing Fish and Macroinvertebrate Communities. Columbus, OH: State of Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. OEPA (1995). Biological and Water Quality Study of the Little Miami River and Selected Tributaries. Vol 1 and 11. Monitoring and Assessment Section. Columbus, OH: Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Technical Report. MAS/199412-11. Omernik, J. M. (1988). Ecoregions of the coterminous United States. Annual Association of American Geographer 77, 118–125. Rankin, E. T. (1989). The Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI): Rationale, Methods and Application. Columbus, OH: Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

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