Cumulative Watershed Effects Assessments

Over the last three years McNamara Consulting worked for Terragraphics Environmental Engineering, Inc to perform geospatial aspects of the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) Cumulative Watershed Effects (CWE) Assessments in 60 watersheds across Idaho.  Terragraphics has been the main contractor in this project where McNamara Consulting has been a sub-contractor to Terragraphics providing expertise in geospatial aspects of the CWE project.  This project is continuing into 2009 with an additional 23 watersheds being assessed


McNamara Consulting served as geospatial experts for the CWE project over the last three years.  This work included development of custom data collection forms in Trimble’s TerraSync software that were utilized in Trimble’s GeoXT Global Positioning System (GPS).  In addition, GPS collected data were differentially corrected using Trimble Pathfinder office on a regular basis.  Collected field data also contained numerous images of surveyed features where custom desktop tools were developed to facilitate the transfer of these images from field units to the main database.  Hard copy field forms were also utilized to record comments and observations about CWE features were data entry protocols and applications were developed and utilized to transfer this information to the main database.  In 2007 and 2008 the spatial data model consisted of various ArcInfo coverages linked to a Microsoft Access database.  In 2009 McNamara Consulting developed a new database schema to store the CWE data in an Environmental Systems Research Institute geodatabase.  McNamara Consulting performed the requirements analysis and system design as well as putting the ultimate system into production.  The developed system included a unique method for storing the results of multiple CWE Assessments and surveys of management problems and mass failures.  This system also allows for the storing of multiple images of single mass failure, management problem and channel stability segment features.  The system design allowed for easy transition of CWE stream features (i.e., fish presence, stream canopy segments and channel stability segments) as value added attributes to the National Hydrography Dataset.  All of the database systems objects were documented extensively with FGDC compliant metadata including data quality and processing history.


In addition, to the above system functionalities we developed a unique set of tools built off of Python and  ESRI Model Builder technology to allow for the accurate and efficient creation, analysis and quality control of CWE digital data.  These tools are easily transferred to other users and include extensive documentation detailing functionality.  Finally, we developed a geospatial quality assurance project plan to tie the whole system together and explain proper use and requirements of the system for end-users.  We have used the above system to perform CWE Analysis of collected data on 14 watersheds and assisted in the creation of reports for each watershed detailing the results of these assessments in 2008.  The system is in production for the 23 watersheds scheduled for assessment on 2009.