Clemson University was recognized this week as a Center of Excellence for Watershed Management by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The center is part of the university’s Restoration Institute, and is “taking a broader approach to managing water resources by looking at watersheds more holistically.” A key tool in this effort is a cyber infrastructure-based digital watershed.
The university awarded the center a $1.5 million grant to develop the cyber infrastructure and sensor network and to demonstrate the platform to monitor and report on four different projects.
- Real-time monitoring of 215 miles of the Savannah River watershed
- A low-impact development project in Georgetown County that is part of the Program of Integrated Study for Coastal Environmental Sustainability
- A watershed project at Lake Issaqueena in the Clemson Forest in Pickens County
- A segment of the Saluda River Watershed in Greenville County that is part of the Changing Land Use and the Environment program
“Having real-time data to monitor environmental characteristics — water quality, storm-water runoff, even tree growth — from any Internet access point can improve watershed management,” said Gene Eidson, director of Clemson Restoration Institute’s ecology program. “This system of remote sensors will provide real-time information to the public, scientists and professional environmental managers. The system will provide hands-on practical information to help promote objective, science-based discussions about economic growth and the environment.”
For more information on the Center for Watershed Excellence at Clemson University: www.clemson.edu/restoration/ecology/.