thumbnail

Evaluating the effects of urbanization and land-use planning using ground-water and surface-water models

Fact Sheet 102-01

By:
and

Links

Abstract

Why are the effects of urbanization a concern? As the city of Middleton, Wisconsin, and its surroundings continue to develop, the Pheasant Branch watershed (fig.l) is expected to undergo urbanization. For the downstream city of Middleton, urbanization in the watershed can mean increased flood peaks, water volume and pollutant loads. More subtly, it may also reduce water that sustains the ground-water system (called "recharge") and adversely affect downstream ecosystems that depend on ground water such as the Pheasant Branch Springs (hereafter referred to as the Springs). The relation of stormwater runoff and reduced ground-water recharge is complex because the surface-water system is coupled to the underlying ground-water system. In many cases there is movement of water from one system to the other that varies seasonally or daily depending on changing conditions. Therefore, it is difficult to reliably determine the effects of urbanization on stream baseflow and spring flows without rigorous investigation. Moreover, mitigating adverse effects after development has occurred can be expensive and administratively difficult. Overlying these concerns are issues such as stewardship of the resource, the rights of the public, and land owners' rights both of those developing their land and those whose land is affected by this development. With the often- contradictory goals, a scientific basis for assessing effects of urbanization and effectiveness of mitigation measures helps ensure fair and constructive decision-making. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the City of Middleton and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, completed a study that helps address these issues through modeling of the hydrologic system. This Fact Sheet discusses the results of this work.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Evaluating the effects of urbanization and land-use planning using ground-water and surface-water models
Series title:
Fact Sheet
Series number:
102-01
Year Published:
2001
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Wisconsin Water Science Center
Description:
4 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Wisconsin
County:
Dane
City:
Madison, Middleton
Other Geospatial:
Pheasant Branch watershed
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N