The Effect of Policy and Land Use Change on Water Quality in a Coastal Watershed City: An Analysis of Covington, Louisiana

Author(s): Langley, K. ;  Schauwecker, T.;  Wilkerson, W.;  Walker, J.

There is currently a great need to expand the understanding of land use policy’s impact on water quality. The purpose of this work is to examine local policy in Covington, Louisiana in order to assess its impact on land use. Land use is then analyzed to reveal effects on water quality. Water quality should then be used to dictate policy in a feedback loop, but that is not currently happening. Methods used include reclassifications of land use categories within a Geographical Information System and analysis of changes over a four year period. Policy is assessed using two instruments. The first is a pre-existing evaluation method devised by The Center for Watershed Protection. The second is by a more flexible and generalized apparatus developed by staff and faculty in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Mississippi State University. Three water quality parameters are examined for impairment due to their known correlation to urban runoff. Nonpoint source pollution from agriculture is also discussed, however, for analysis of policy and land use in the City of Covington, this is less of an issue.

While it has been determined that Covington’s water quality related policy is insufficient and surface waters are impaired, there are a great deal of extenuating circumstances that impact water quality both in and around the city. Changes to current monitoring efforts and policy drivers are discussed along with suggested improvements that could be made to altered landscapes and current governance.


Technical Presentations

  • Delta Water Quality
  • Delta Water and Agriculture
  • Wetlands
  • Water Quality
  • Sediments
  • Non-Point
  • Management and Sustainability
  • Wood Treatment
  • Modeling
  • Soil and Water Treatment


Responsible Site Design: Implementing Innovative Stormwater Management Strategies

The primary goal of the workshop is to create a dynamic learning experience that examines the role of stormwater management in the built environment. The workshop will focus on integrating ecologically sound water management approaches into site design. After the workshop, attendees will be familiar with the following concepts and technical issues:

  • Knowledge of the stormwater treatment chain
  • Knowledge of the impact of land use codes on stormwater management
  • Application of a design process that mitigates the effects of stormwater on-site
  • Knowledge of the relationship between land use codes and design for innovative stormwater management


For information contact:
Jessie Schmidt
Box 9680
Mississippi State, MS 39762