Title page for ETD etd-05122011-113855

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Adams, Erica Elaine
Author's Email Address eadams01@vt.edu
URN etd-05122011-113855
Title Operationalizing Scale in Watershed-based Stormwater Management
Degree Master of Science
Department Geography
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kolivras, Korine N. Committee Chair
Prisley, Stephen P. Committee Member
Sforza, Peter M. Committee Member
  • Stakeholder
  • Watershed-based Stormwater Management
  • Scale
Date of Defense 2011-04-29
Availability unrestricted
Watershed-based stormwater management (WSM) has been proposed as more effective for stormwater management than traditional methods of controlling stormwater, which are carried out based on jurisdictional lines at the parcel-scale. Because WSM considers the watershed as a total unit, this method is considered to be more effective in reducing problems associated with stormwater management including environmental degradation and flooding. However, larger watersheds encompass smaller watersheds, and therefore WSM can be implemented at a wide range of scales. There has been little research on what scale is most appropriate, and more specifically, only a modest amount of work has taken stakeholder opinion into account.

The specific objectives of this study are to determine: 1) if watershed scale is an important factor in WSM, 2) whether stakeholder opinion has an effect on the appropriate scale used in WSM, and 3) what scale is most appropriate for WSM, if scale is an important factor. To meet these objectives, we delineated sub-watersheds within a watershed in southwestern Virginia, surveyed stakeholders within the watershed on their opinions of stormwater management methods, and compared the results at both watershed scales using statistical tests and decisions support software. The results of this study have important implications for geographic scale in WSM as well as the use of qualitative data in determining appropriate geographic scale in matters of implementation in the field of planning.

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