Watershed Management and Planning

watershed graphic2

Focusing on activities throughout the area that drains to a water body, watershed management programs take a holistic approach to protecting streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands. As such, watershed management programs often require cooperation between jurisdictions as well as among government agencies, businesses, developers and citizens.

Watershed management programs include land use planning, regulation of development, control of water pollution, stream buffer protection and stream restoration, and outreach and education. Watershed management considers all sources of pollution in a watershed, including spills and leaks, factories and stormwater runoff from urban and agricultural areas. In an urban area stormwater is the main source of pollution to local streams.


Watershed Plans

Swift Creek Land Management Plan

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Wake County, Raleigh, Cary, Garner and Apex jointly developed (with the N.C. Division of Water Quality) and adopted the Swift Creek Land Management Plan as a guide to managing development in the Lake Wheeler and Lake Benson watersheds to protect water quality in those existing or potential water supply reservoirs. The Wake County Board of Commissioners adopted the Swift Creek Land Management Plan on April 19, 1990.

Session Law 1998-192, adopted by the North Carolina General Assembly on October 22, 1998, prohibits Wake County (and other parties to the Plan) from adopting any development ordinance or granting any development permit inconsistent with the standards and provisions of the Swift Creek Land Management Plan.

Two competing objectives affect land use patterns and development standards within the Swift Creek watershed: the protection of water quality and the logical extension of urban development.

The plan requires riparian buffers and limits impervious area on a lot per lot basis (see Standards).

Exhibit A

State Memo


Land Use Map

Swift Creek Interlocal Agreement (ILA)

ILA 1st Amendment

ILA 2nd Amendment