NHESP Living Waters Critical Supporting Watersheds
- Critical Supporting Watersheds (CSWs) are those areas with more immediate hydrologic contributions to Living Waters Core Habitats. As such, they represent the areas with the highest potential to sustain or degrade Core Habitats. The CSWs were produced through the AQUALAND grid-based watershed model at a 30 x 30 m resolution. The AQUALAND model was created through the combined efforts of the Natural Heritage Program and the University of Massachusetts’ Landscape Ecology Program. The model created individual CSW grids - one CSW for every Core Habitat. The model also calculated several threat assessment metrics for each CSW, taking into account such factors as impervious surfaces, road density, road crossings, potential point sources, agricultural intensity, dam intensity and public water withdrawals. MassGIS stores this polygon layer in ArcSDE as LWCSW_POLY.
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