Water Resource Planning
Water is an essential part of our lives. Poor water quality can negatively affect drinking water, household use, irrigation, recreation, fishing, commerce, and our environment. Our waterways can be degraded by non-point source pollution, shoreline development, sedimentation, failing septic systems, poor agricultural and silvicultural practices, fuel spills, and invasive species. Nearly all of these problems can be avoided by proper planning and basic prevention measures.
The region is covered by a network of rivers and streams running between hills and mountains, including the Black River, Williams River and the Mill Brook. The rivers and streams are all eventually feed into the Connecticut River which runs along the eastern edge of the region. Planning for the region’s watersheds requires understanding how the river is moving and changing over time. In 2011 several watersheds were impacted by the flash flooding that followed Tropical Storm Irene’s extreme rainfall – particularly the Black River, Williams River and Mill Brook.
SWCRPC works with town, state and federal governments, and other regional organizations to provide planning assistance, technical support, and additional resources on a variety of water resource planning initiatives, including but not limited to the following:
- Basin 11 Management Plan. Prepared by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources in 2008. Covers the land area where water feeds into the West, Williams and Saxtons Rivers. The Plan gives information about the river watersheds, outlines the issues facing them and gives recommendations on how to move forward.
- Basin 10 Planning. Information about basin planning for land areas drained by the Black and Ottauquechee Rivers from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
- Black River Corridor Plan. Compiled 2011 by SWCRPC. This plan is to brings together technical data on the condition of the Black River and its tributaries with local land use planning and regulations, focusing primarily on hazard mitigation and improving local water quality.
- Black River Phase 1 and 2 Stream Geomorphic Assessments. Prepared for SWCRPC between 2007 and 2010. In 2007, a Phase 1 Stream Geomorphic Assessment (“SGA”) was carried out accordance with Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources protocols. The report divided the Black River and its tributaries into numbered reaches (sections of river). The Phase 1 report prioritized stream sections to be evaluated in the Phase 2 SGA which was completed in 2009. An addendum was added in 2010 for the Patch and Buffalo Brooks which feed into the Ludlow Lakes.
- Hubbard Brook Phase 1 Stream Geomorphic Assessment. Prepared for SWCRPC in 2008.
Flood and Fluvial Erosion Hazards
- SWCRPC Winter 2012 Newsletter will include information about the impact Tropical Storm Irene had on the region in August 2011. Rainfall caused both flash flooding and inundation flooding in the region.
- SWCRPC is currently working with a variety of stakeholders to recover from Tropical Storm Irene and incorporate hazard mitigation strategies into their other planning activities. More information to come.
- Municipal Guide to Fluvial Erosion Hazard Mitigation. Prepared by Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
- Flood Hazard Management Resources. Prepared by Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
- Japanese Knotweed Brochure. Created 2008 by BRAT and SWCRPC. Information about the invasive species known as Japanese Knotweed which is commonly found along our waterways.
Low Impact Development (LID) and stormwater management
- LID brochure. Created 2008 by Addison County Regional Planning Commission and SWCRPC.
- Managing stormwater and improving local water quality in Springfield . Booklet for local residents. Created 2010 by SWCRPC. Compilation of affordable and achievable strategies for managing stormwater around the home in a rural and small town environment. Also contains advice on how efforts around the home and in the yard can improve local water quality
- Model LID Byway Language. Developed 2010 by SWCRPC. The model bylaw language is intended for existing zoning and subdivision standards in unified or stand alone bylaws. It includes both regulatory language as well as considerations for developing standards for other sections throughout a bylaw.
- LID Town Resource Pack . Created 2010 by SWCRPC. The pack is an introduction to LID for towns and provides resources for application of LID in the region:
- LID Tools for Vermont Towns . Created 2007 by SWCRPC and Addison County Regional Planning Commission. Information on how to incorporate LID into Town Plans and local regulations.
- Local LID examples and Further Resources. Created 2010 by SWCRPC as part of the LID Town Resource Pack. Examples of Vermont and New Hampshire LID projects which could be relevant for the region and links to further LID resources.
SWCRPC is currently working on a project to locate and characterize contaminated, non-stormwater flows (illicit discharges) to the Black River and its tributaries in Springfield.