Perennial yield

  • perennial yield – maximum quantity of water that can be annually withdrawn from a groundwater basin over a long period of time (during which water supply conditions approximate average conditions) without developing an overdraft condition

Glossary of Water Terminology. (2015, August 13). Retrieved January 16, 2017, from

Here’s a link to learn a little more about what is going on here in Michigan with groundwater pumping.

Riparian buffer

Land next to a stream or river that is vegetated, usually with trees and shrubs, that serves as a protective filter for streams. A buffer helps to stabilize stream banks from washing away and to reduce the impact of upland sources of pollution by trapping, filtering, and converting sediments, nutrients, and other chemicals. In addition, a buffer helps supply food, cover, and thermal protection to fish and other wildlife. Riparian buffers can be 300 feet wide or 20 feet wide; it depends on the stream and the land around the stream.

Glossary of Watershed Terms. (n.d.). Retrieved March 17, 2017, from

Riparian water rights

the rights of an owner whose land abuts water. They differ from state to state and often depend on whether the water is a river, lake, or ocean. The doctrine of riparian rights is an old one, having its origins in English common law. Specifically, persons who own land adjacent to a stream have the right to make reasonable use of the stream. Riparian users of a stream share the streamflow among themselves, and the concept of priority of use (Prior Appropriation Doctrine) is not applicable. Riparian rights cannot be sold or transferred for use on nonriparian land.

Perlman, U. H. (n.d.). Water Science Glossary of Terms. Retrieved March 06, 2017, from


Heavy stones used to protect soil from the action of fast-moving water. True restoration tries to eliminate or minimize the use of riprap, using plants with strong root systems to anchor soil instead (e.g. willows). The use of riprap can lead to many detrimental effects, including increasing water volumes and flow (which leads to flooding and bank erosion), and constricting stream channels (which exacerbates flooding)

(n.d.). Retrieved April 11, 2017, from

Soil bioengineering

The use of natural methods to control creek bank erosion, and to restore natural stream habitat. Also referred to as, “biotechnical slope protection,” soil-bioengineering involves the use of live and dead woody cuttings and poles or posts collected from native plants, to revegetate watershed slopes and stream banks. The cuttings, posts, and vegetative systems composed of bundles, layers, and mats of the cuttings and posts provide structure, drains, and vegetative cover to repair eroding and slumping slopes.

TLA use of LWD in the Grass River is a great example of soil bioengineering.

Glossary of Watershed Terms. (n.d.). Retrieved March 24, 2017, from


Suspended sediment

very fine soil particles that remain in suspension in water for a considerable period of time without contact with the bottom. Such material remains in suspension due to the upward components of turbulence and currents and/or by suspension.

Perlman, U. H. (n.d.). Water Science Glossary of Terms. Retrieved April 14, 2017, from


A TMDL or Total Maximum Daily Load is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a waterbody can receive and still meet water quality standards. Water quality standards identify the uses for each waterbody, for example, drinking water supply, contact recreation (swimming), and aquatic life support (fishing), and the scientific criteria to support that use. The Clean Water Act, section 303, establishes the water quality standards and TMDL programs.

Glossary of stream, lake and watershed terms. (n.d.). Retrieved February 08, 2017, from


xeriscaping–a method of landscaping that uses plants that are well adapted to the local area and are drought-resistant. Xeriscaping is becoming more popular as a way of saving water at home.
More on xeriscaping:

Perlman, H. (n.d.). Water Science Glossary of Terms. Retrieved January 19, 2017, from