Water Resource Management Support
Finger Lakes Initiatives
The Finger Lakes Region of New York State includes seven primary lakes that are generally long and thin in shape and a wide variety of smaller lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. The region features extensive agricultural landscapes and abundant natural resources.
The Finger Lakes and their watersheds (the land areas that drain into the lakes) are increasingly threatened resources. The need for watershed management tools is clear, but limited information is available in useful formats for the entire area, and comprehensive watershed management plans have not yet been developed and aggregated for the entire area. Furthermore, watershed management in New York and throughout the Northeast is interwoven with complex land use control at local government levels.
IAGT has developed tools and techniques that help to mitigate these complexities and enhance management of the regions water resources.
Tools for Lake and Watershed Stewardship
IAGT promotes the integration of geospatial data and technologies into local water resource and land use decision making processes. IAGT develops decision support and visualization tools for application at multiple levels including local municipalities and other organizations, from local planning boards and town councils to watershed wide stewardship efforts. Close working relationships with county, regional, state and federal agencies provide a holistic view of water resources issues. Given the wide range of available resources, technologies and skills among a vast array of organizations and locations, IAGT can distribute these tools on digital media or via web application. Training in the use and proper application of these data and tools for watershed protection is also routinely provided.
IAGT utilizes several water quality and nutrient loading models to provide a wide range of information that characterize and describe natural watershed processes. The models provide first level analyses or analyses covering larger geographic areas that generally require far less time and resources than field monitor and observation. The output from the models can also help focus attention on locations in a watershed that should be studied in detail, allowing efficient, prioritizing of resources. Recognizing that the interpretation and proper application of what the model results are describing is the key to their effectiveness, IAGT utilizes a number of methods to display and explain the results in 3D visualizations, maps and presentations.