A comparison of future urban scenarios and environmental impacts in the Etowah River watershed, GA
Samples, Kevin Wesley
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Historical Landsat TM Satellite derived land cover and impervious surface cover are used with the SLEUTH cellular automata urban growth model to predict future urban scenarios within the Etowah River watershed and surrounding areas. Three future scenarios as well as previous extents of urbanization are analyzed to determine the hydrologic and water quality effects on the regions streams. Six streams sites were modeled over time to provide detailed unit hydrographs based on the various scenario outcomes. Each site demonstrates the drastic changes that may occur in the watershed, even with the most conservative outlook for increased development. Stream impairment thresholds were also determined via the 303d Impaired Waters list for the Etowah watershed area. With the knowledge of the effects various growth strategies may have on area streams, communities can plan by modeling future developments and assess the potential effectiveness of smart growth policies in the Etowah River watershed via stream impairment thresholds and hydrologic analysis for three future scenarios.