Soils and Watersheds
What soil information can tell you about a watershed
Things to remember as a watershed coordinator
No one knows everything about using GIS so make sure you are aware of all training opportunities, contacts and other resources that will help you in the use of GIS, digital soils information (DSI), and its software for watershed planning.
Contacts and resources that you already have
- Earth Resources Information Network ERIN an interactive map based tool.
- Aaron Lantz 614-265-6683 (assists with ERIN and GIS data)
- Other coordinators
Detailed digital soils information is the most robust land use planning dataset available.
Items to include in a watershed plan
In the soil inventory section
- Include the dominant soils in the area and highlight there limitations as they relate to the water quality issues in your watershed.
- Include several soil maps highlighting the soil properties that are the most important to your watershed. (Contact Aaron if you are not sure which soil properties to highlight.)
- If soils differ greatly between HUCS, specify those differences.
In the implementation and resources section
Include the use of GIS and more particularly detailed digital soils information to prioritize areas for BMPs. In addition, GIS should also be used as a performance indicator.
For example, addressing failing systems on the most limiting soils will not only ensure more water quality for each dollar but will also limit the time spent in finding failing systems. In Addition, addressing septic sites that are on soils that are the most limiting, will give you an easy way to quantify progress and give you a more manageable goal to achieve.
Examples of watershed maps highlighting soil properties that are helpful in the watershed planning and implementation process.