Delta Headwaters Project—Boon or Bust to Water Quality?

Author(s): Johnson, D.

The Delta Headwaters Project (DHP-formerly Demonstration Erosion Control Project) was initiated by Congress in 1984 in six Yazoo Basin headwater streams. The project has since been expanded into sixteen watersheds, which encompass over 6,800 square kilometers. DHP seeks to develop and demonstrate a watershed systems approach to address problems associated with watershed instability including: erosion, sedimentation, flooding and environmental degradation. DHP provides for the development of a system for control of sediment, erosion and flooding in the hill areas of the Yazoo River Basin, Mississippi. The project uses a variety of features for sediment control, which include: riser pipes, bank stabilization, and grade control structures. This study uses daily suspended sediment and discharge measurements from 16 sites to evaluate the effectiveness of DHP with regard to sediment control. The annual sum of these two parameters were calculated and compared by site. Most sites displayed a large decrease in the sum suspended solids over the life of the project. The ratio of the sum of suspended solids to discharge was also calculated. This ratio was used to adjust the suspended sediment changes with discharge. Again most sites displayed large decreases in this ratio over time. Hotopha Creek had a sediment:discharge ratio of 3.7 in 1987, which was reduced to 1.4 in 1997. This produced a reduction in the average daily sediment load from 111 tons/day in 1986 to 44 tons/day in 1997 under similar hydrologic conditions.

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Technical Sessions

Session I Sedimentation
Session II Weather/Climate
Session III Coastal Resources
Session IV Surface Water Management
Session V Wetlands
Session VI Education
Session VII Management/Planning
Session VIII Wetlands
Session IX Delta Groundwater
Session X Nutrients
Session XI Delta Water Resources
Session XII Ports

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