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Kentucky Institute For Watershed Management Support

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Enhancing Environmental Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.824.1 - 15.824.11



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Paper Authors

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Alanna Storey Western Kentucky University

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Andrew Ernest Western Kentucky University

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Jana Fattic Western Kentucky University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Kentucky Institute for Watershed Management Support

Abstract This paper will demonstrate the effectiveness of the university-housed watershed capacity development approach of the Kentucky Institute for Watershed Management Support (KIWMS). KIWMS engages students in developing and implementing model holistic processes for rehabilitation/regionalization and management for communities with aging on-site wastewater management systems. This approach exposes students to the broader aspects of watershed management beyond the mere technical components.

KIWMS provides regional planning support to communities throughout the Commonwealth in order to maintain the natural and economic resources of their watersheds. The Center for Water Resource Studies (CWRS), which houses KIWMS, uses undergraduate students from Western Kentucky University (WKU) to conduct field work, develop surveys and analyze data under the direction of a Professional Engineer. The CWRS expertise in water and wastewater, combined with its mission as a utility and municipal technical assistance provider, empowers communities to realize the fundamental goal of holistic watershed management. KIWMS leverages synergy between local, state and other resource agencies at a watershed level by providing infrastructure and support for accountability and the technical basis to ensure measurable results.

Background Kentucky Institute for Watershed Management Support. Regulatory instruments exist for improving water quality on a watershed basis for redress and rehabilitation in the case of pathogen impaired streams. For streams impacted by runoff from agricultural operations, Kentucky’s Agricultural Water Quality Act provides operational standards and a means for enforcement to ensure the protection of the Commonwealth’s waters. Water quality impacts from failed septic systems can be mitigated by enforcement of performance standards by local public health departments. Kentucky’s Watershed Management Framework favors local engagement and implementation over regulatory enforcement for meeting water quality goals. Success of this approach is dependent on access and engagement of technical, financial and managerial capacity development programs in a similar fashion as those existing for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. KIWMS engages stakeholders at the local and regional level in a collaborative problem solving process to develop sustainable and technically sound solutions for pervasive failures in onsite wastewater systems that potentially contribute to the pathogen impairment of local streams and limit economic growth.

KIWMS engages local communities with regional planning entities to achieve local change that positively impacts watershed health. A key strategy in the community-specific implementation of the KIWMS is a public education campaign. KIWMS promotes strategies for wastewater minimization for both residential and commercial establishments. KIWMS also provides Technical, Financial and Managerial assistance to develop and implement functional and extensible wastewater management alternatives for communities throughout Kentucky to improve watershed health and promote economic development. This assistance is provided through detailed situation assessments, technology demonstrations, public education, and

Storey, A., & Ernest, A., & Fattic, J. (2010, June), Kentucky Institute For Watershed Management Support Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16767

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