Watershed Management

Click on the map to view 
watersheds in Northern Kentucky.
The most effective way to preserve and enhance the quality of life that we currently enjoy in Northern Kentucky is through a balanced watershed management approach that recognizes the importance of both a strong economy and environmental protection. SD1's Consent Decree features an innovative adaptive watershed approach that will comprehensively assess the cumulative impacts of pollution sources on receiving waters. 

The objective of this approach is to identify where water quality impairments exist, the sources of the impairments and their relative significance. Once this understanding is achieved, control alternatives are evaluated and a plan is developed that focuses on maximizing the benefits received for the resources invested.

What is a Watershed?

A watershed is a defined area of land that drains into a particular body of water, such as a stream, lake or ocean. Watersheds come in all shapes and sizes and can cross city, state and even national borders. A healthy watershed provides habitat for plants, aquatic life and animals as well as high-quality water for human use. 

Watershed Facts:
  • The Ohio River Watershed spans 13 states, covering more than 203,940 square miles. More than 25 million people live within the Ohio River's drainage area.
  • The Licking River begins in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky and meanders northwest until it meets the Ohio River. The Licking River Watershed drains roughly 3,600 square miles (about 10%) of the Commonwealth. More than 250,000 Kentuckians rely on the Licking River for drinking water.
  • In the three county area of Northern Kentucky, SD1, for the purposes of assessment and characterization, has delineated 16 major watersheds. This includes several hundred miles of streams that drain over 500 square miles of land.

SD1's Watershed Assessment Program

The foundation for SD1's watershed management initiative is a holistic assessment program that includes in-stream water quality and biological monitoring throughout the Northern Kentucky region. The monitoring data collected by SD1, as well as other entities, is used to develop detailed Watershed Characterization Reports and an overall Stream Condition Index for Northern Kentucky. 

For more information on the water quality of a specific watershed, please email us at info@sd1.org.
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