Project Name: Niantic River Watershed Project
Summary: Stormwater protection plan provides structure for stakeholders
Client: Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Project Location: Niantic, CT
Project Size: 30 square miles
• Agency Consultation
• Stakeholder Facilitation
• Hydrologic & Hydraulic Analysis
• GIS Database Design & Management
Project Timeframe: 2005 - 2006
Relationship with Client: Since 2005
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) required the development of a stormwater protection plan for the 30-square mile Niantic River Watershed. The long-term plan was envisioned to serve as a framework for protecting and restoring the environmental quality of the river and its watershed as well as serve as a model for other coastal watershed plans.
The hydrologic component of the project required Kleinschmidt to generate a model to assess various development scenarios and their respective affects on non-point source pollutant loading within the watershed. Kleinschmidt used the EPA Storm Water Management Model (SWMM), which is a dynamic rainfall-runoff simulation model used for either single event or long-term (continuous) simulation of runoff quantity and quality. Our team also developed a SWMM-GIS program for streamlining model development and post-processing results. Kleinschmidt’s multi-disciplined team gathered and synthesized existing watershed information to describe uses and threats, conducted watershed-scale assessment of land cover, development (buildout analysis), and impervious surface cover, estimated current and future watershed nonpoint source pollution conditions and source loadings based on projected land use changes to undeveloped areas, and performed a watershed vulnerability assessment. The Vulnerability Assessment targeted and mapped land areas most likely to produce nonpoint source pollution by using a gridded, weighted assessment of watershed features and proximity to sensitive waterbodies.
Kleinschmidt’s recommendations for the management and monitoring of nonpoint source load reductions and watershed protection and restoration measures provided a structure for stakeholders to make tangible progress in improving and restoring the ecological health of the Niantic River and watershed.