Clear Fork Watershed Assisted by Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District
March 10, 2015
Flooding has been a recurring theme along the Clear Fork of the Mohican River in Richland County. Though attempts have been made in the past to solve these flooding issues, a solution has never materialized. Based on a petition of several municipalities and stakeholders along the Clear Fork, and supporting documentation provided by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD), the Conservancy Court approved the creation of the Clear Fork Subdistrict and directed the Chief Engineer of the MWCD to create an Official Plan. The petition and approval process of the Subdistrict was completed in 2014.
The Official Plan will guide the community in implementing permanent solutions to flooding problems. As a first step in creating this plan, MWCD has contracted with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to install precipitation gages and in-stream gages to collect detailed information about how the Clear Fork responds when storm events occur throughout the watershed. Live data from these gages will be accessible to the general public through the USGS website. The data obtained from these gages will be used to create computer models of the Clear Fork watershed as well as the Clear Fork itself. Ultimately, these models will be used by engineers to develop solutions to greatly reduce the impacts of flooding along the Clear Fork. The MWCD has committed 85% of the cost of the study while the USGS has agreed to fund the remaining 15% of the $463,500 study.
Bellville Mayor Darrell E. Banks attended the February MWCD Board meeting where the funding of the study was approved and he stated, “We are very glad we can move forward with this activity to eventually find solutions for our flooding issues.”
The MWCD, a political subdivision of the state, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses in the Muskingum River Watershed, the largest wholly contained watershed in Ohio covering 8,000 square miles. The District’s 16 reservoirs and dams have been credited for saving an estimated $10.7 billion worth of potential property damage from flooding, according to the federal government. In addition, over 3.6 million customers a year use the District’s recreational facilities throughout Eastern Ohio which bolsters the region’s economy and augments the quality of life for Ohio’s residents. For more information about the MWCD, visit www.mwcd.org and follow the MWCD on Facebook and Twitter.
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