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Publication Abstract

Benchmark Sediment Monitoring Program for Illinois Streams: Program Summary and Site Descriptions. Allgire, Richard L., and Misganaw Demissie, 1995  Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL,  ISWS C-181    Full Text Available
Excessive soil erosion and subsequent sedimentation are threatening the productivity of farmland, degrading water quality and aquatic and wetland habitats, and accelerating eutrophication of reservoirs and silting of streams and lakes. The Illinois Water Quality Management Plan, the Illinois State Water Plan, the Illinois River Action Plan, and many other reports and conference proceedings recognize that erosion and sedimentation are the number one water resources issue.

The Benchmark Sediment Monitoring Program for Illinois Streams was initiated by the Illinois State Water Survey in 1981 to generate a long-term database of suspended sediment transport. Prior to the program there was no systematic monitoring program in Illinois to evaluate erosion and sedimentation trends or to quantify the amount of sediment being transported by Illinois streams. Such data are necessary to identify areas of high erosion rates, to ascertain effectiveness of erosion management practices, to calculate sedimentation rates in lakes and reservoirs, and to identify areas of water quality and habitat degradation so that best management practices can be evaluated, planned, developed, and implemented.

Initially the program had 50 stations at representative locations throughout the state to monitor suspended sediment concentrations for streams and rivers draining watersheds with drainage areas ranging from 30.5 to 9,549 square miles. Continuous budget cuts have reduced the number of monitoring stations to 15 stations. Recently the program became part of the Water Survey’s Water and Atmospheric Resource Monitoring (WARM) Network, which monitors the climate, soil moisture, surface water, groundwater, and sediment throughout Illinois.



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