The Kinni Is a Conveyor
By Dan WilcoxRivers are conveyors of water and materials from their watersheds.Each day the Kinni conveys water that fell on wood lots, farm fields,pastures, yards, parking lots, roads, and water from underground aquifers-springs and septic systems.
On a typical day, when the Kinni is flowing at 50 cubic feet per second, over 100 acre-feet of water (100 acres, 1 foot deep of water) and tons of sand, silt, and clay make their ways downstream.
Sediment moves mostly during periods of higher than normal flow – such as after a rainstorm or during spring melt, especially when Soils are laid bare by plowing or construction.
Since the 1950’s when the watershed first was brought under cultivation, millions of cubic yards have been carried downstream. The Soil Conservation Service reports that much of the topsoil of this area has been permanently lost.Most of that material has settled in coulees and the valley bottom.
In fact, the valley floor has received so much sediment that it is actually higher now than in the past. The cut banks visible along the river show that the river has moved much sediment that that was eroded from the watershed.
Wilcox works for the Army Corps of Engineers and is a Director of the KRLT. He lives in Martell township.
*From The Kinni Keeper, #2, p. 2.
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