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Fact Sheet 2009–3103

Prepared in cooperation with the Johnson County Stormwater Management Program

Stormwater Runoff: What it is and why it is important in Johnson County, Kansas

By Teresa J. Rasmussen1 and Heather C. Schmidt2

1 U.S. Geological Survey, Lawrence, Kansas
2 Johnson County Stormwater Management Program, Johnson County, Kansas
Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (381 kB)


Stormwater runoff is a leading contributor to pollution in streams, rivers, and lakes in Johnson County, Kansas, and nationwide. Because stormwater runoff contains pollutants from many different sources, decreasing pollution from stormwater runoff is a challenging task. It requires cooperation from residents, businesses, and municipalities. An important step in protecting streams from stormwater pollution is understanding watershed processes, stormwater characteristics, and their combined effects on streams and water quality.

First posted December 24, 2009

For additional information contact:
Director, USGS Kansas Water Science Center
4821 Quail Crest Place, Lawrence, KS
(785) 842–9909

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Rasmussen, T.J., and Schmidt, H.C., 2009, Stormwater Runoff: What it is and why it is important in Johnson County, Kansas: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009–3103, 2 p.


What is a watershed?

What is stormwater runoff and why is it a problem?

What water-quality concerns exist in Johnson County and what causes them?

How has stormwater runoff from urban areas affected the water quality of lakes, rivers, and streams in Johnson County?

What practices are being implemented to manage stormwater and protect water quality in Johnson County?

References Cited

What can Johnson County residents do to help protect streams?

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