Document Details

A Field Guide to the Identification of the Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) in the Arid West Region of the Western United States: A Delineation Manual

Robert W. Lichvar, Shawn M. McColley, | August 1, 2008
Summary

The Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) is an approach for identifying the lateral limits of non-wetland waters. However, determining whether any non-wetland water is a jurisdictional “Water of the United States” (WoUS) involves further assessment in accordance with the regulations, case law, and clarifying guidance. In the Arid West region of the U.S., the most problematic Ordinary High Water (OHW) delineations are associated with the ephemeral/intermittent channel forms that dominate the Arid West landscape. This report presents a method for delineating the lateral extent of the non-wetland waters in the Arid West using stream geomorphology and vegetation response to the dominant stream discharge.

Product Description

The Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) is an approach for identifying the lateral limits of non-wetland waters. However, determining whether any non-wetland water is a jurisdictional “Water of the United States” (WoUS) involves further assessment in accordance with the regulations, case law, and clarifying guidance. In the Arid West region of the U.S., the most problematic Ordinary High Water (OHW) delineations are associated with the ephemeral/intermittent channel forms that dominate the Arid West landscape. This report presents a method for delineating the lateral extent of the non-wetland waters in the Arid West using stream geomorphology and vegetation response to the dominant stream discharge.

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FinalOHWMManual_2008

Keywords:

ephemeral streams, non-wetland waters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waters of the United States