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Edwin H. Price
Assistant Professor
Department of Physical and Life Sciences
Nevada State College
Losing the Farm: How Changes in Land Surface Affect Storm Runoff

In this case study, students examine hydrologic characteristics of a real farm property in northwest Georgia and calculate the volume of storm runoff expected for a typical storm using the U.S. Soil Conservation Service (SCS) method. The case is used to teach components that need to be considered in evaluating precipitation runoff from a land surface. The farm land surface was greatly modified for a high-density residential subdivision. During the land use change, there were some unfortunate events that significantly affected the runoff characteristics of the property, causing damage to the property, neighboring structures, and the downstream environment. Students examine the significance of these changes with respect to runoff from a similar-sized storm. The case was developed for use in an introductory environmental hydrology course, but could also be adapted for a soil science course.