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Linking Land Use to Water
Quality in South Carolina
The core presentation of NEMO can be roughly divided into three parts. First, GIS images of topography and drainage systems are used to emphasize the water cycle, the watershed concept and the need for watershed management. Second, the land cover/land use data is interspersed with ground and aerial photographs to show municipal officials the current land use patterns in their region and the common polluted runoff problems associated with each major type of land use.
Finally, existing land use in critical watersheds is compared with
"build-out" scenarios (Figure 2) based on zoning regulations.
The emphasis here is on potential increases in the amount of impervious
surface, which has been demonstrated in the literature to be a key determinant
of receiving stream water quality. This relationship can be used as
a simple and unifying principle which town officials can reference in
the course of their day-to-day land use decisions.