A new video on the YouTube channel Untamed Science, shows how the research at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory contributes to studying questions related to drinking water quality and watershed yields. The video entitled "How to Get Good, Clean Drinking Water: The Big Picture Approach" shows a journalist's visit to the lab to witness firsthand the unique and long-term research conducted by USDA Forest Service scientists.
E. Fred Benfield, a long time Coweeta LTER investigator, was recently honored by Virginia Tech for 45 years of service. Fred is one of the co-founder's of Virginia Tech's Stream Team/Ecosystem Research Group which is a collection of biology professors and students who study different aspects of ecosystem ecology.
In May 2016, the Coweeta LTER in partnership with the City of Asheville, NC’s Water Resources Dept. installed three environmental sensor stations to monitor soil moisture, soil temperature, and air temperature in ridge, side-slope, and cove locations. The sites were established above the Beetree Reservoir in eastern Buncombe County. The stations are located within an 8900 hectare forested and protected watershed that is the drinking water supply for the City of Asheville, North Carolina.
A recent study by Coweeta LTER investigators reconfirmed what has become a well-known truth; forested riparian zones improve stream quality by maintaining cooler water temperatures, wider and more natural stream chanels, and provide woody debris that creates cover and complex habitats for aquatic animals like fish, salamanders and invertebrates. The study was conducted on streams within the Upper Little Tennessee River Basin in the Southern Appalachians and compared streams with surrounding forestland riparian zones to those in the midst of pasture or grassland.