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Title: Monongahela River Watershed : Initial Watershed Assessment
Authors: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Pittsburgh District.
Keywords: Monongahela River Watershed (W. Va. and Pa.)
Watershed management
Environmental management
Environmental protection
Publisher: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Pittsburgh District.
Abstract: The following report is an Initial Watershed Assessment (IWA) of the Monongahela River watershed in Northern West Virginia, Southwestern Pennsylvania and a small portion of Western Maryland. This IWA was prepared under the authority of Section 729 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 as amended which authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to undertake watershed planning. Watershed planning is an approach for managing water resources within watershed boundaries and addresses problems in a holistic manner that reflects the interdependency of water uses, competing demands and the desires of a wide range of stakeholders. The purpose of watershed planning is to undertake the planning process in a broad, integrated systems approach instead of solely focusing on single purpose projects. The result of the watershed planning process is development of a Watershed Plan that identifies general strategies or plans for solving problems on a watershed scale. The Monongahela River IWA is a reconnaissance level report that identifies current existing conditions within the watershed, details the major water resource problems of the watershed and discusses the potential scope and objective of a future cost-shared Final Watershed Assessment. Throughout the watershed planning process, numerous problems were identified in the watershed; however, water quality and quantity issues came to the forefront as key problems impacting water resources in the watershed. Acid mine drainage, traditional gas drilling, industrial and municipal pollution, land use, and deep well gas development are currently some of the principal water quality concerns in the watershed. It was also identified that the lack of comprehensive management of the water resources such as that done by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, is of concern. The quantity of water withdrawn from streams is largely unregulated and is beginning to show negative consequences. This was illustrated by a low-flow event, related to excessive withdrawals, in the watershed in 2008. In addition, some water quality parameters, like total dissolved solids, require watershed based regulation rather than "end-of-pipe" monitoring due to their dependence on flow volume and inability to degrade downstream. An additional water resource area of concern throughout the watershed is flood risk management and the inability of local communities to implement flood risk management projects. It was the conclusion of the IWA that a Watershed Assessment Management Plan (a Project Management Plan) be drafted that will define further the scope and objective for the Final Watershed Assessment. Greene County, Pennsylvania was identified as a potential non-Federal sponsor interested in cost sharing a Final Watershed Assessment. If the Watershed Assessment Management Plan and associated cost-sharing agreement are successfully negotiated, it is recommended that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District and Greene County participate in a cost-shared Final Watershed Assessment of the Monongahela River watershed and develop a Watershed Plan that will help alleviate water resource problems in the Monongahela River basin in a holistic manner.
Description: Technical Report
Rights: Approved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited
Appears in Collections:Environmental Documents

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