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Watershed Studies

 

Contact:

Dr. Robin (Buz) Kloot

Associate Director

  • Phone: 803-978-7522

  • Fax: 803-978-7528

  • Email

 

 

Sponsored by: United States Department of Agriculture,
Natural Resources Conservation Services 

  
South Carolina Conservation Documents

Assessment Matrices

The Assessment Matrix is the second part of the Rapid Watershed Assessment, the first part being the subbasin (or “watershed”) profile.  There are 36 subbasins (or 8-digit HUA’s) in the state and one subbasin profile for each HUA.  There are five Assessment Matrices for each subbasin profile, one for each of the five major land uses, namely crop, pasture, forest, hay, and wildlife. 

 The Assessment Matrix summarizes current resource conditions and related maintenance costs.  It also summarizes desired resource conditions, conservation opportunities and related costs and qualitative effects on primary resource concerns.  The primary data source for this assessment matrix is the dataset of conservation practices applied in South Carolina from the National Conservation Planning Database (NCPD) for the years 2005-2008 (inclusive) where a total of some 50,000 conservation practices were documented.   This matrix does not use treatment level (baseline, progressive, RMS) as a way of analyzing the data because the NCPD does not contain this kind of information; in addition, resource management systems are typically highly site-specific.  The surrogate for treatment levels used in this assessment matrix is the "top ten" approach where the top ten conservation practices for each scenario (land use & Common Resource Area) are displayed.  Secondary data sources for this assessment matrix include the 2002 Agricultural Census data on number of farms and the SC-NRCS publication Summary of Natural Resource Concerns (2007).  Although the dataset spans four years all tables are annualized and based on one year. 

Subbasin Resource Profiles

Rapid watershed assessments (RWA) provide initial estimates of where conservation investments would best address the concerns of landowners, conservation districts, and other community organizations and stakeholders within a watershed. These assessments help landowners and local leaders set priorities and determine the best actions to achieve their goals.

Resource Profile
The watershed resource profile compiles the best readily-available data, including:

  1. A general description of the location, size, and political units associated with the watershed.

  2. Physical description including land use/land cover, precipitation/climate, common resource areas, stream flow data, land capability class, etc.

  3. Known resource concerns.

  4. Census and social data.

  5. Status and history of resource conservation in the watershed.

  6. References and data sources.

Summary of Resource Concerns

This publication is a summary of natural resource concerns in South Carolina. The perspective of natural resource concerns is more specifically, but not exclusively, in relation to agricultural activities in the state.

This publication is arranged to address the themes articulated in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Strategic Plan for 2005-2010, Productive Lands, Healthy Environment (USDA-NRCS 2006). The Strategic Plan addresses the following NRCS Mission Goals, namely:

  1. High-quality, Productive Soils
  2. Clean and Abundant Water
  3. Healthy Plant and Animal Communities
  4. Clean Air
  5. An Adequate Energy Supply
  6. Working Farm and Ranch Lands


According to the NRCS, “The Strategic Plan sets the direction for NRCS and describes our conservation priorities and goals. Bold, forward-looking, and far-reaching, this plan challenges us to reformulate some past approaches and develop and adopt new approaches. This plan will guide NRCS in implementing key overarching strategies, managing agency business lines, meeting customer needs, and developing and strengthening capacity to achieve our mission goals.” (USDA-NRCS 2006).

 
 

 

 

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