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 Invasive Species
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 Assessing Toxic Risk
 Invasion Ecology
 Decay and Renewal
 Watershed Dynamics
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What do roadside ditches have to do with water quantity and quality?Lake photo

Impacts on quantity and quality of water in streams and lakes usually is not considered when ditches are designed, built, and maintained. For example, many highway departments regularly scrape ditches, clearing vegetation and debris. This leaves bare soil that erodes easily. As stormwater flows through these ditches, it erodes soil. The muddy water carries extra sediment and nutrients into streams and lakes.

If ditch management were designed to consider impacts on water quantity and quality, the results could include:

  • Reduced loads of sediment carried into streams, rivers, and lakes

  • Improved water quality

  • Decreased stream flooding

  • Reduced severity of droughts

Why study ditches?
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