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Georgia Water Resources Institute

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 1767
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    Urban Ecosystem Restoration: An Example of Stream and Lake Restoration in Gwinnett County, Georgia
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-04) Stachura, Jill ; Wright, Pete
    In order to mitigate the adverse effects that growth has had on Gwinnett County’s aquatic resources, the county has developed a comprehensive Watershed Improvement Program (WIP). The focus of the WIP is to address areas negatively affected by increased stormwater flows and ongoing land use practices from urban development. The Lake Claiborne project is part of the Sweetwater Creek WIP Implementation. The goals of the restoration project were to improve water quality, habitat, biology, and the overall condition and health of Sweetwater Creek, its tributary and Lake Claiborne. Prior to construction, the lake had a surface area of approximately 5 acres. The lake drainage area is 554 acres, with an impervious cover of 25 percent. The lake was constructed in the 1960s with a significantly larger open water footprint. The lake filled in with sediment over the years from increased development within the watershed. As a result, the stream segments were aggraded and the depth of the lake decreased. Pre-construction water quality sampling and biological monitoring determined macroinvertebrate habitats were poor. Post-construction monitoring will be performed to measure improvements. Construction, completed in June 2011, included removing accumulated sediment to restore the original design capacity and increase flood storage capacity. The lake outlet control structure was modified to provide detention and peak flow attenuation. Stream restoration included redesigning the two streams flowing to the lake by restoring the channel geometry and profiles to improve transport of sediment load. Offline ponds for sediment accumulation were built within the original 100-year floodplain boundary of the lake. Grading was done around the lake to establish a functional littoral zone to provide additional filtering and habitat. Finally, enhancement of the riparian buffer was accomplished by removing invasive vegetation and replanting with native species.
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    Development of a revised regional hydrogeologic framework for the Floridan aquifer system using geophysical log marker horizons
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-04) Williams, Lester J. ; Raines, Jessica E. ; Lanning, Amanda E.
    During the process of updating the regional hydrogeologic framework of the Floridan aquifer system a series of subtle geophysical markers where found to be important in helping to define and correlate high and low permeable zones in the relatively thick carbonate rocks that comprise this aquifer system. Although none of the marker horizons are regionally persistent, they are critical in understanding the position and lateral continuity of the water-producing zones. The factors that control permeable variations in the Floridan aquifer system include (1) rock type, (2) structure, and (3) the proximity of the rocks to the recharge areas and the active flow system where more vigorous dissolution occurs. Among these factors, rock type is the principal control. Many of the highly permeable beds or zones in the system occur at major lithologic contacts or in thinly bedded carbonate sequences that are more susceptible to dissolution and development of secondary porosity and permeability. Once a particular sequence of rocks was identified that was important to the framework, geophysical markers were used to map these units up and down dip to better define the internal structure of the system. Distinctive geophysical log patterns are identified in a soft, poorly indurated limestone lithology, a massive dolostone lithology, thinly bedded limestonedolostone and evaporite lithology, and a fine-grained limestone lithology.
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    Hydrologic and water-quality conditions in the lower Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint and parts of the Aucillasuwannee-Ochlockonee River basins Georgia, Florida and Alabama, during drought conditions, July 2011
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-04) Gordon, Debbie Warner ; Peck, Michael F. ; Painter, Jaime E.
    As part of the U.S. Department of the Interior sustainable water strategy, WaterSMART, the U.S. Geological Survey documented hydrologic and water-quality conditions in the lower Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint and western and central Aucilla-Suwanee-Ochlockonee River basins in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia during low-flow conditions in July 2011. Moderate-drought conditions prevailed in this area during early 2011 and worsened to exceptional by June, with cumulative rainfall departures from the 1981-2010 climate normals registering deficits ranging from 17 to 27 inches. As a result, groundwater levels and stream discharges measured below median daily levels throughout most of 2011. Waterquality field properties including temperature, dissolved oxygen, specific conductance, and pH were measured at surface-water sites.
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    A New Hydrologic Routing Model with Applications for River Reaches in Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-04) Kim, Dong Ha
    A key element of hydrologic routing models is the storage-discharge relationship assumed to follow a certain mathematical form, usually a linear or a power function, the parameters of which are calibrated based on existing inflow-outflow data. While this assumption simplifies the model calibration process, it also constrains the models to operate by this function throughout their flow range. In view of the complex and nonlinear river flow behavior, this approximation undoubtedly introduces errors. This research presents a new hydrologic river routing approach that is not limited by the above assumption. River reaches are modeled as cascades of interacting conceptual reservoirs, with storage-discharge functions identified by the data. A novel parameter estimation approach has been developed to identify these functions and all other model parameters based on control theory concepts. After calibration, these functions indeed exhibit different mathematical forms at different regions of their active variation range. The new approach is applied and successfully demonstrated in real world reservoir and river routing applications from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River basin.
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    Governor’s Water Supply Program: Evaluating Round I
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-04) Manganiello, Christopher John
    In 2011, Governor Nathan Deal ordered the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) to convene a Water Supply Task Force to develop and implement the Governor’s Water Supply Program (GWSP). The primary goal of this paper will be to evaluate the GWSP: how the program was conceived; how it has been implemented; and thoughts for the future. The GWSP was designed to offer two forms of state backed financial assistance – direct state investment and loans – for projects that will provide “an adequate supply of clean and affordable water” for communities in need of “new water supply facilities,” according to the Governor’s January 2011 executive order. On August 1, 2012 GEFA and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) began disbursing $100M in GWSP awards to advance ten projects. These awards demonstrate how the first round of the GSWP was implemented and present an opportunity to evaluate if the GWSP’s goals have been met. A central question drives the analysis: did the GWSP meet the Governor’s promise and directive to provide new water supplies to communities in need? Finally, this paper will offer suggestions for how state funding and initiatives might provide a better investment of tax-payer dollars to meet future water supply needs. Economically and environmentally sustainable options exist and they can benefit Georgians and their neighbors.
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    Trends in Annual 7-day Minimum Streamflow in Georgia
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-04) Gotvald, Anthony James
    Many Federal, State, and local agencies use stream flow data to manage water availability for supply and power generation. Monitoring trends in low-flow data is important to ensure that water availability meets future demand. A trend analysis was performed on the annual 7- day minimum stream flow for selected stream gages in Georgia with 60 or more years of record using the nonparametric Kendall’s tau test. Significant trends in the data from 1980 to 2011 were found for many of the stream gages located throughout southern Georgia.
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    Optimitation of the DeKalb County fats, oils, and grease management program
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-04) De Taboada, Dora D'Andrea
    The formal Fats, Oil, and Grease (FOG) Management Program was optimized in order to increase the productivity by efficiently operating its current re-sources. Using the same number of inspectors and the same equipment, the number of establishments inspected per day and the total inspections per month were consider-ably increased. The Daily Planner was implemented as the tool to plan and to review the Inspectors’ daily activities. It helps the Inspectors meet their minimum daily inspection re-quirements. It also helps with the route optimization de-creasing travel time. The new zone distribution method will allow the Inspectors to rotate through all the zones as often as required. It warranties that all the FSEs in the County will be inspected at least once per quarter thus properly enforcing the DeKalb County Ordinance. Additional significant changes were implemented to improve the program productivity. A new database XC2 was integrated into the FOG Program. It helped im-prove proper data storage and management. The FOG Evaluation for new construction and remodeling was in-corporated to the County permitting software “Hansen”. The FOG Evaluation Check list was designed based on the Ordinance requirements. The incorporation to “Hansen” improved the customer service assistance since the cus-tomer submits all the requirements at once. The FOG Permit payment administration was changed in order to give more time to the Inspectors to perform FSE inspections. More changes will be applied to maximize the FOG Permit Renewal Payment.
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    Chattahoochee-Apalachicola Rivers Water Quality Sampling a Lagrangian Sampling Project
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-04) Fuller, Robert C.
    The field work portion of this project began September 22, 2012, with an expected completion date of November 10, 2012. The field work will involve traveling by canoe down the entire Chattahoochee-Apalachicola River system from the source spring near Chattahoochee Gap to the Gulf of Mexico, collecting water quality data, documenting illegal incursions into the river channel, and gathering such other information as may seem to be valuable. As of September 30, 2012, 89.4 miles of the river system has been covered. What makes this project unique and of particular value will be the Lagrangian design of the observations. The purpose of a Lagrangian sampling scheme is to follow an initial mass or “parcel” of water as it moves through its containing channel, tracking changes to the water’s constituents over space and time. Hydraulic modeling work done by others was used to make initial estimates of average river velocities along the length of the system, which were used to calculate doses of a tracking dye sufficient to be detected but not so large as to violate EPA guidelines. Rhodamine WT dye was chosen for tracking and it was detected using a fluorometer. The concept of an initial water mass is used in recognition of the fact that a small mass of water emerging from the source spring will be increasingly dispersed as the mass moves downstream due to the mixing within the channel and the variability of water velocity across the channel. Because of this, it is easier to think of trying to follow the centroid of the dispersing mass than it is to think of predicting the likely position of a single molecule that emerges from the source. Due to low rhodamine WT doses used, the dye is re-dosed at roughly 25 to 50 kilometer intervals along the system.
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    Implementing an integrated technologies approach to low impact development designs
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-04) Miller, Mark Brian
    Selecting the proper stormwater treatment technology presents a number of challenges to site designers, regulatory agencies and other stakeholders alike. It is paramount for stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP) technologies to be specified in accordance with the intended land use as well as conditions for which those technologies are designed to operate. Furthermore, the ever increasing demand to implement green infrastructure designs that rely on Low Impact Development (LID) practices presents a wide variety of challenges to the stormwater community. An LID technology selection pyramid illustrates a process to identify proper stormwater technologies including both land based and manufactured devices. An integrated technologies approach to LID practices offers the opportunity to uniquely utilize a number of treatment train options to enhance BMP performance and sustainability. The LID technology selection process also often fails to adequately address site characteristics in context with the performance capabilities of the treatment approach. For example, the performance of hydrodynamic separators decreases as particle size decreases. If fine silt is the dominant particulate in the stormwater runoff, then filtration would be more effective in that case. Improper use of a treatment technology can lead to poor performance and inaccurate conclusions regarding the performance capabilities of the device and technology as a whole. Several factors to consider for selecting treatment technologies include future land use, type and pollutant concentrations, particle size, design storm, footprint, installation cost, maintenance costs, practicality, and long term functionality.
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    Planning and partnerships: a model for successful section 319(h) projects
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-04) Faulkner, Chris ; Hughes, Duncan
    Restoration of Georgia’s water quality requires many elements and players. From developing a plan, to deciding on the appropriate implementation actions, to finding the right organization to coordinate these efforts, trying to restore water quality in a given stream, lake, or estuary presents many challenges. However, when all of the necessary elements and players do come together, the results are well worth the challenges. One of the most important aspects of restoring waters is partnerships, and the partnerships forged by the Soque River Watershed Association (SRWA) have proven extremely effective. The Soque Partnership (SP) was formed by SRWA and the City of Clarkesville to develop a watershed management plan (WMP) and engage many diverse stakeholders in its many partnerships and implementation actions. The SP has demonstrated what a model Section 319(h) Grant funded project can look like. The SRWA continues to utilize their partnerships in the most effective manner, which has resulted in several rounds of funding under Section 319(h) to implement their WMP. The result of this work will be a segment of the Soque River that has been moved from Not Supporting is designated use to Supporting on the Draft 2012 3035(b)/303(d) List of Waters. The SRWA hopes to continue this model to further their restoration effort and to being teaching others in an attempt to export this successful model of planning and implementation to other in the hopes of seeing more of Georgia’s waters restored.