In recognition of the need to acquire a uniform, organized approach to addressing surface water degradation and given the diverse nature of non-point sources of pollution, the Soil and Water Conservation District has recently formed a committee whose specific task is to address water quality issues. Since the reduction of non-point source pollution is likely to occur through the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMP's) and changes in land use regulations, this committee provides the necessary foundation for these changes to occur. This committee has become known as the Orleans County Water Quality Coordinating Committee (WQCC). With the combined expertise of the Water Quality Coordinating Committee and the availability of actual field data, progress towards healthier freshwater resources is underway. A recommendation of the WQCC was to move forward in prioritizing the major tributaries in terms of high nutrient losses from the watershed. The objectives of Orleans County's program include: 1. Determination of the status of Orleans County's primary surface waters and observe changes over time; 2. Documentation of what types and amounts of nutrients may be adversely impacting water quality and the conditions which generate them; 3. Determination of what urban, rural, industrial and agricultural practices within a watershed may be impacting water quality; 4. Development of a technical database for informed water quality management decisions; and, 5. Assessment of the feasibility and effectiveness of potential control measures likely to be used to reduce non-point and point sources of pollution. Determination of sources and magnitude of soil and nutrient losses from a watershed is prerequisite to remedial action and essential to making cost-effective land management decisions as it reduces the likelihood of costly miscalculations based on the assumption of soil and nutrient sources and modeling rather than their actual identification. We have found that this process enhances the ability of concerned groups to obtain external funding for demonstration and remedial projects.
Makarewicz, Joseph C. and Lewis, Theodore W., "Nutrient and Sediment Loss from the Watersheds of Orleans County Year 2: Johnson, Oak Orchard and Sandy Creek Watersheds. June 1998 - May 1999" (1999). Technical Reports. 115.