Wet Weather Monitoring Strategy for Urban Lakes
Anyone trying to find the best way to protect or improve the quality of a lake is faced with the possibility of doing some monitoring. The challenge is to develop a monitoring effort that will answer the questions posed during the development of a cost effective management strategy. It is necessary for the people developing a monitoring plan for a lake to anticipate those questions and they should use the questions to structure their monitoring strategy. Fortunately, these management questions are presented in many watershed plans developed for lakes.
There are usually six management questions that might require some monitoring before a watershed plan can be developed. The six questions are: 1) what are the designated uses of the lake, 2) are the designated uses being achieved, 3) what are the factors threatening or declining the quality of the lake, 4) what should our pollutant reduction goals be, 5) what are the sources of the pollutants, and 6) what mix of storm water treatment practices will achieve our goals. A monitoring strategy could never address all these questions for a lake, but the strategy should try to address the most important gaps in knowledge for the lake and watershed.
As an example, an effort to identify the sources for important pollutants, such as phosphorus, might only require limited monitoring to calibrate models predicting phosphorus loads from tributary streams and storm sewer pipes. A lot of data has already been collected to calibrate urban runoff models for phosphorus loads, so limited monitoring is all that is necessary to verify the accuracy of the models. The same is true for streams contributing agricultural runoff. Other types of source monitoring might identify the sources of problems unique to the lake, such as high bacteria counts at the swimming beaches.
An analysis of pollutant sources and effectiveness of stormwater treatment practices in the Lake Wingra watershed provides an example of what type of monitoring is helpful to answering questions 5 and 6. A mixture of new data and old is used to apply models to developing a cost effective management plan for the Wingra watershed.
Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! Aquatic Invasive Species in Iowa
Preventing the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species in Iowa is a primary goal of the Iowa DNR’s Aquatic Invasive Species Program. Increasing public awareness of aquatic invasive species is critical to preventing their spread and their effects on Iowa’s water quality, wildlife, recreation, and economy. This presentation will profile the identification, distribution, and impacts of several aquatic invasive species found in Iowa: Eurasian watermilfoil, brittle naiad, purple loosestrife, bighead and silver carp, and zebra mussels. Zebra mussels will be used to highlight the specific and significant changes one invasive species can have on the water quality and habitat parameters of an aquatic environment. Public outreach programs, volunteer opportunities, and prevention guidelines will also be outlined.
The Squaw Creek Watershed Coalition: Five Years On and Still a Long Way to Go
The Squaw Creek Watershed Coalition was formed from a group of local residents who attended a conference on the watershed that was held in March of 2001. By November of 2001, the group had identified common goals and established its organizational structure. Since that time the Squaw Creek Watershed Coalition has focused on providing educational opportunities intended to raise awareness about Squaw Creek and the issues it faces. These opportunities have included sponsoring public presentations on water quality issues, promoting IOWATER monitoring in the watershed, beginning a storm drain labeling effort in the City of Ames, cooperating with the Skunk River Navy in removal of trash from Squaw Creek, leading canoeing and fishing activities in Squaw Creek, and sponsoring a watershed-wide water quality snapshot in October of 2006. Many challenges remain for the coalition including increasing the number of people active in this effort, improving partnerships with City, County, and University entities, engaging more residents in the rural portion of the watershed, and contributing to a funded project that goes beyond education and monitoring to implementation of improvements in the watershed.
The North Raccoon – An Amazing River Badly Neglected
Mike Delaney and Jim Riggs
Mike and Jim will describe why they helped start the North Raccoon Watershed Association in 2005. They will describe the strategy which guides the NRWA and list some of past and future activities of the organization. They will discuss the good and bad aspects of the North Raccoon and show pictures which demonstrate the beauty of the river and life in the watershed. You may gain an understanding of what this group is about by browsing the NRWA website at www.northraccoon.org.
SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1Recreational Water Quality and Swimming Associated Health Effects
Swimming in natural waters has long been considered a favorite leisure time activity in the United States. As early as the 1920s, states and cities were considering ways to protect public health by maintaining the quality of waters using microbial indicators of fecal contamination. In the 1950s, coliforms were the indicator of choice. In the late 1960s, fecal coliforms were substituted for coliforms. In the early 1970s and continuing into the 1980s, the US EPA conducted epidemiological studies attempting to relate swimming-associated illness to water quality, as measured with various indicators of fecal contamination. These studies found that E. coli and enterococci showed the best relationship to swimming-associated health effects. In 1986, E. coli and enterococci were recommended by the US EPA as the indicators for measuring water quality. Beach resource managers began to use the methods to measure water quality on a daily basis, which led to the realization that methods, such as those for E. coli and enterococci, were not effective for protecting public health because they required twenty-four hours to obtain results. Receiving the results twenty-four hours after an exposure proved to be poor public health practice and led to the search for new methods that would deliver results in less than two hours. New rapid methods will be discussed, including their advantages and disadvantages. This presentation will provide a historical perspective on the evolution of water quality standards and the rationale for risk-based regulations for recreational waters.
SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1Although this work was reviewed by EPA and approved for publication, it may not necessarily reflect official Agency policy.
Cyanobacterial Blooms: Toxins, Tastes, and Odors
Jennifer Graham, Keith Loftin, Michael Meyer, and Andrew Ziegler
Cyanobacteria cause a multitude of water-quality concerns, including the potential for production of toxins and taste-and-odor compounds. Cyanotoxins have been implicated in human and animal illness and death in more than fifty countries worldwide, including at least 33 states in the U.S. Human toxicoses associated with cyanotoxins have most commonly occurred after exposure through drinking water or during recreational activities. Compounds produced by cyanobacteria also are associated with undesireable taste-and-odors causing unpalatable drinking water and tainted fish, resulting in increased treatment costs and loss of aquacultural revenue. Resource managers, drinking-water treatment-plant operators, lake associations and local officials are increasingly faced with making decisions about cyanobacteria that affect public awareness, exposure, and health. Understanding the biological, physicochemical, and hydrological factors influencing toxin and taste-and-odor occurrence will lead to effective management of water resources and minimization of human health risks.
Water Quality Monitoring with Remote Sensing
Nathan Green and Ramanathan Sugumaran
The goal of this research was to explore the intra-annual water quality variations using hyperspectral remote sensing data in lakes of Iowa. Hyperspectral images were collected using an airborne platform during the first week of the month from June through October 2004. Water samples and location information using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) were also collected nearly simultaneously with the hyperspectral images. By analyzing relationships between reflectance at specific wavelengths and water quality data from on site sampling, prediction of three major water quality constituents was done with accuracies ranging from 85% to 93%. The prediction algorithms were applied to the hyperspectral images to create spatially continuous water quality maps for all five months. Trend analysis shows that water quality deteriorates from June to late July and improves through early October. Examination of water quality maps generated from the hyperspectral images provides a more complete record of the spatial and temporal variation in water quality which is very valuable for local and state government agencies and aids them in taking proper water management practices.
How’re The Lakes? – Observations on the Major Stressors Affecting our Lakes Today
I’m often asked this question by politicians and policy makers, who I suspect, expect a short answer. But the answer isn’t so simple or short. Every lake is unique and responds to events in unique ways. However, when I consider overall threats to lakes – those events or actions that are major stressors on lakes – I am better able to answer the question. In this talk, I will discuss what I feel are the four most serious threats to lakes today. These are, in no particular order of importance: eutrophication, shoreline development and redevelopment, recreation over use, and aquatic nuisance species.
Eutrophication continues to be the focus of most lake management actions and financial expenditures. Many millions of dollars are spent annually in the U.S. to manage or reverse eutrophication. Water attracts people - - for recreation and for living. Boat size, boat horsepower, and the number and size of lakeshore homes are all increasing but we aren’t making more lakes. As a result, recreation has become a measurable impact on lakes and the shorelines are under assault by urbanites building lakeside “city mansions”. Lakes are also under assault by a variety of invasive, exotic, and non-native species of aquatic plants, fish, invertebrates, and birds. Collectively, these are now called Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS). All of this creates a dangerous cycle. Everyone and everything is attracted to lakes but in the process, lakes are becoming more eutrophic and stressed. How do we break the cycle??
The Clear Creek Iowa Ecohydrological Observatory
The CyberEnviroNet research group at The University of Iowa includes scientists and engineers from Geography, Geoscience, Computer Science, and various Engineering Departments. The group leads diverse research and education projects involving cyberinfrastructure applied to water-resource and environmental concerns. Members are active in the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI) and the Collaborative Large-Scale Engineering Analysis Network for Environmental Research (CLEANER), ongoing NSF-supported initiatives.
An outcome of the CyberEnviroNet group’s activities is the emerging Clear Creek Environmental Hydrologic Observatory at the headwaters of Iowa’s Clear Creek. It is envisioned that this process-based observatory will support the scientific investigation of relevant components of water cycle processes. This project will create a working example of cyberinfrastructure in the hydrologic and environmental sciences. It is a system that integrates a broad range of technologies and ideas: wired and wireless sensors, low power wireless communication, embedded microcontrollers, commodity cellular networks, the internet, unattended quality assurance, metadata, relational databases, machine-to-machine communication, interfaces to hydrologic and environmental models, feedback, and external inputs.
Water Use by Ethanol Plants: Potential Challenges
Ethanol production using corn grain has exploded in the Upper Midwest. This has caught many planners unaware. Issues such as the availability of grain, transportation infrastructure, effect on other uses of grain such as poultry and swine, and even the ability to meet export contracts are being questioned. Short-term outcomes of the biofuels policies include rapidly expanding acreage of corn at the expense of soybean and conservation reserve land and added stress on the region’s land and water resources.
Lost until recently in the whirlwind has been the potential impact of ethanol plants on natural resources, particularly water availability. Ethanol plants withdraw considerable water, around 4 gallons per gallon of ethanol produced. Several ethanol plants in Minnesota have been denied permits because of insufficient water availability and there have been siting issues in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. Iowa will likely be producing over 5 billion gallons per year of ethanol within the decade, and there is concern that this withdrawal, placed on top of other expanding demands of urban environments, manufacturing and animal production, is not sustainable. Climate change could further exacerbate the shortage of water in the state. Insufficient information is available to determine what impact ethanol production will have. Iowa’s water plan is over a decade old and has not taken ethanol plant withdrawals into account. It will be of benefit to the ethanol industry and rural development initiatives in general to get more clarity on the relationship between ethanol production, water consumption and impacts on water supplies. Otherwise, shortage of water could be the Achilles heel of corn-based and perhaps cellulose-based ethanol. See also:
Lake Darling Water Quality Success Story
The purpose of this report is to summarize the data on water quality monitoring from multiple sources and show how it was used to guide the watershed and lake restoration process. Long term monitoring at Lake Darling shows that the lake’s fishery and recreational potential have suffered from excessive siltation and turbidity for over 30 years. Secchi disk records and visual impact photos will be used to highlight long term monitoring and the positive effects of restoration. Recent monitoring since the early 1990s to define Iowa’s lake classification system, establish TMDL guidelines and record bacteria levels put the watershed and lake in the spotlight for restoration. Monitoring data for the nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorous and the dramatic reduction in coliform bacteria levels will be used to show the effects of watershed management practices.
Yellow River Watershed Monitoring
In 2002, two segments of the Yellow River were added to the State of Iowa’s 303(d) impaired waters list. In 2004, a group of federal, state, and local agencies began monitoring the Yellow River watershed to establish baseline water-quality conditions and identify areas with water-quality problems. This presentation will cover some of the group’s water-quality findings and describe some activities in the watershed to improve the water quality.
YOU’RE STANDING ON IT! Parking Lot Sealcoat as a Major Source of PAHs in Urban and Suburban Environments
MaryLynn Musgrove, Barbara Mahler, Peter VanMetre
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a ubiquitous contaminant in urban environments. They are toxic to aquatic life and several are probable or possible human carcinogens. There are numerous sources of PAHs in urban environments, but a newly identified source of urban PAHs, parking lot sealcoating, might dominate loading of PAHs to many urban water bodies in the United States. Sealcoat is the shiny black liquid painted or sprayed on parking lots and driveways to beautify them. Particles in runoff from parking lots with coal-tar emulsion sealcoat had mean concentrations of PAHs of 3,500 mg/kg, 65 times higher than the mean concentration from unsealed asphalt and cement lots. PAH chemical signatures and projections of contaminant yields indicate that runoff from sealed parking lots could account for the majority of PAH loads in the streams investigated. Toxicity studies in aquatic environments show a relation between concentrations of coal-tar based sealcoat in sediment and toxicity, biological degradation, and species loss. Future directions for research in this area include occurrence in other geographic settings, importance of desorption in aquatic environments, and pathways for human exposure.
Sand, Sun, and E. colii – Just Another Day at the Beach!
During the summer of 2000, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) began monitoring bacteria levels at state park beaches throughout the state. Over the six successive beach monitoring seasons, many changes have occurred within the program and a great deal of notable research has occurred. Each year, the program has become increasingly streamlined, with the goal of providing complete, concise messages for the general public. This in turn allows citizens to make informed public health decisions about recreating in Iowa’s surface waters. At the same time, various research projects have broadened the general understanding of fecal contaminants in Iowa waters, which are much different than the waters of the Great Lakes and other large water bodies that are often the testing grounds for recreational freshwaters. Finally, the IDNR beach monitoring program has been on the forefront of incorporating cyanobacterial toxin monitoring into a routine public health survey at beaches. As new research is being conducted and reported, there will undoubtedly be additional changes to the beach monitoring program, but these changes have become smoother with each passing year. Because of its solid foundation, the beach monitoring program will continue to provide information to Iowa’s citizens for years to come.
Everglades Restoration through Integrated Regional Management
The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, known as CERP, is an interagency initiative led by the South Florida Water Management District, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other governmental partners. CERP’s overarching goal is “to get the water right.” This huge plan is comprised of 68 components aimed at improving the quantity, quality, timing and distribution of water throughout South Florida – the Kissimmee, Okeechobee and Everglades ecosystem. The region is now compartmentalized by an extensive water management system with 2,800 kilometers of canals and over 2,000 water control structures. This complex system is expected to be modified extensively by CERP over the next 35 years to allow for regional environmental restoration. This massive undertaking will be completed while balancing the region’s ever-increasing demand for water for water supply, flood control and environmental management in a dynamic sub-tropical climate. Restoration of over 75,000 hectares of wetlands will support regional restoration, while 15 surface reservoirs will store 1.8 billion cubic meters for delivery where and when needed, avoiding unnecessary discharges to tide. To further the region’s water storage capacity, over 300 Aquifer Storage and Recovery wells are planned and a series of seepage projects will reduce losses of fresh water from the remnant Everglades marshes. Water quality will be improved with thousands of hectares of constructed wetlands, known as Stormwater Treatment Areas.
CERP is resource intensive with a projected estimated cost of nearly $11 billion and more than $170 million per year to operate and maintain. The future success in carrying out the large-scale plan depends on continued federal support and cost sharing. This is quite challenging, as the State of Florida has spent about 85 percent of authorized funding on restoration efforts to date. The State of Florida is using revenue bonds, known as Certificates of Participation (COPs), to fund a $1.8 billion set of projects known as Acceler8 to keep CERP’s continued momentum and provide some restoration benefits by 2010. Notably, these COPs are the first bonds to be issued for a natural resource project in the United States. CERP implementation must overcome many challenges in land acquisition, funding, interagency cooperation and technical uncertainties. CERP also has amazing opportunities for restoring valued national resources, meeting a sustainable balance of management objectives and contributing information and lessons learned for large-scale restoration projects worldwide.
Nutrient Standards for Iowa’s Waters
Nutrient enrichment has routinely been identified by states as a significant water quality problem for lakes as well as streams, rivers, estuaries and coastal waters. A series of events and legislation in the 1990s, including the much-publicized Pfisteria problem in East Coast estuaries and the Gulf hypoxic zone, led to the EPA’s directive that states adopt numeric water quality standards for nutrients as well as the response variables of algal biomass and turbidity. Beginning in 2000, the EPA has released a series of nutrient guidance documents for lakes and rivers and streams that states are expected to consider in adopting state standards.
As a nutrient-rich state, Iowa faces significant challenges in adopting reasonable numeric nutrient standards for its lakes, streams and rivers. Two fundamental questions that must be addressed are whether nutrient reduction in and of itself will significantly improve water quality and, if so, what levels of nutrient reduction are reasonably achievable? The initial focus is on nutrient standards for Iowa’s lakes and analysis of Iowa’s lake monitoring data has led to a reexamination of the traditional lake eutrophication models. A technical advisory committee comprised of experts from academia, state agencies, and other interests has been formed and is currently looking at the many issues and questions that need to be addressed before nutrient standards are proposed..
Sequential Dam Notching – A Cost Effective Stream Restoration BMP
Don Roseboom, Tim Straub, Steve Pescitelli, Jeff Mengler
The USGS Illinois Science Center and the Illinois EPA joined with Kane County to determine criteria for the slow removal of dam superstructure so that downstream effects of sediment release would not harm stream fisheries and instream habitat. The staged notching of the Brewster Creek dam was sequenced with stream gaging results of sediment transport, dissolved oxygen measurements, fish surveys, and plant community analysis to determine the extent of adverse effects.
The results were most surprising in that sequential notching favored the dominance of native plants species over the large stands of reed canary grasses in the upstream delta – even though no native species were planted. The release of sediment was so gradual that the sediment yield remained before the average annual sediment yield for the region. Stream fishery actually improved in the downstream control when surveyed just after the majority of the sediment was transported downstream..
Use Attainability Analyses for Iowa’s Rivers and Streams
Field assessments on Iowa’s rivers and streams began in 2006 as a result of DNR rulemaking and 2006 legislation that provided all 26,000 miles of Iowa’s perennial streams protection for swimming and fishing. Of particular concern are the streams and rivers that receive a discharge from a facility with a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. These facilities may have to meet more stringent permit limits as a result of the increased protection. The DNR is assessing these streams for aquatic life and recreational uses to determine if the new classifications are appropriate. This means these waters are considered "fishable and swimmable" unless shown otherwise through a scientifically based assessment, in this case a Use Attainability Assessment (UAA). The department is conducting this field work to determine whether this “fishable and swimmable” presumption is appropriate for these waters.
Chemicals of Concern – Iowa’s First Research Site for Emerging Contaminants
Douglas Schnoebelen, Dana Kolpin, Larry Barber, Edward Furlong, Michael Meyer, Mary Skopec
Research has recently documented the prevalence of a wide variety of pharmaceuticals and other emerging contaminants (ECs) in streams across the United States. Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have been found to be an important source and collection point of ECs to streams as many ECs are incompletely removed during treatment. To investigate the complex in-stream processes (e.g. dilution, sorption, degradation, dispersion, etc.) that can affect ECs following their input from a WWTP and determining if such input is having an effect on the aquatic ecosystem requires the integration of multi-disciplinary efforts at a carefully selected field site. Preliminary work has identified an 8-km reach of Fourmile Creek in central Iowa as an ideal research site to investigate such important research questions pertaining to ECs. Unique aspects of Fourmile Creek included: (1) a single source effluent-dominated stream, (2) background data document the input of a wide variety of ECs from WWTP discharge, (3) small basin size, (4) relatively simple flow system, (5) background data suggest that undefined processes are taking place decreasing the level of select ECs during stream transport, (6) the WWTP uses a treatment technology (activated sludge) typical of many towns in Iowa and the United States, (7) a hydrogeologic setting of a low-gradient, small stream (average discharge less than 1.41 m3/s) in glacial drift is typical of many areas in Iowa and across the Midwest, and (8) the existence of a low-head dam approximately 2 km upstream of the WWTP outfall allowing more accurate “above WWTP” and “below WWTP” comparisons in aquatic ecosystems. Furthermore, the WWTP is scheduled to close by 2011 providing a unique opportunity to determine how stream hydrology, water chemistry and aquatic biota react to the removal of the primary source of flow and ECs in this system. This will allow a novel “before” and “after” assessment not previously available in EC research. Research to date at the site has included installation of a streamflow gaging station, dye-tracing tests (to determine water travel times), Lagrangian water-quality sampling at two flow/water temperature regimes, and sampling for ECs in bed sediment. Selected fish have been collected for analysis and identification. In addition, basic fish community and fish health assessment for different seasons and spawning conditions are being analyzed. The research “framework” is unique at Fourmile Creek for investigating the important question of how ECs are transported through the environment and if the presence of such compounds is having a deleterious effect on aquatic ecosystems.
TDS/Chloride Study – Impact of Point Source Outfalls on Receiving Streams
The State of Iowa is in the process of developing numerical criteria for chloride and total dissolved solids by April 2007. Total dissolved solids is a measure of all constituents dissolved in water, including carbonates, chlorides, sulfates, nitrates, sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Current Iowa water quality standards state that total dissolved solids shall not exceed 750 mg/l in any lake or impoundment or in any stream with a flow rate equal to or greater than three times the flow rate of upstream point source discharges. The current Iowa water quality standard for chloride is 250 mg/L for drinking water use only. Presently, there are no chloride standards for aquatic life protection in Iowa.
In order to set appropriate TDS and chloride standards and to assess the economic impact proposed standards would have on point source outfalls, the Iowa DNR, in conjunction with the Iowa Water Pollution Control Association and wastewater facilities across Iowa, conducted the TDS/chloride study in 2005. The study was a two-phase study. Twenty-one facilities were sampled during winter, low-flow conditions for two weeks in 2005, while 100 facilities were sampled during late summer/early fall, low-flow conditions for six weeks in 2005. For continuously discharging facilities, five samples were collected: a 24-hour composite and a grab sample of the final facility effluent, facility tap water, and samples from the receiving stream, both upstream and downstream of the facility outfall. For controlled discharge lagoons, three samples were collected: a grab sample of the final facility effluent, facility tap water, and a sample from the receiving stream, upstream of the facility outfall.
Channel Disturbance and Evolution: Controls and Implications for Stream Restoration and Targets for Sediment
Sediment is one of the principal pollutants of surface waters of the United States and has been positively correlated with negative impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Efforts to quantify and control sediment erosion have historically focused on fields and upland areas. There is a growing body of evidence in the mid-continent, however, that the locus of sediment erosion has shifted from fields and uplands to channels. Following major land-clearing activities in the mid continent and elsewhere, sediment eroded from fields and uplands was deposited in valley bottoms, filled channels, and accumulated on flood-plains, causing severe drainage problems. To convey floodwaters and alleviate flooding problems, channels were dredged and straightened, resulting in de-stabilization of entire river systems and dramatic increases in erosion rates. Today, these channel-erosion processes, which include streambank failures, are still active and contribute a large proportion of sediment to the suspended load in streams.
Channel incision leads to rejuvenation of fluvial networks and an increase in drainage density as gullies migrate into previously non-incised surfaces. Channel responses to different types of disturbances are shown to result in similar spatial and temporal trends of incision for vastly different fluvial systems. Similar disturbances are shown to result in varying relative magnitudes of vertical and lateral (widening) processes, and different channel morphologies as a function of the type of boundary sediments comprising the bed and banks. This apparent contradiction is explained through an analysis of temporal adjustments to flow energy, shear stress, and stream power with time. Numerical simulations of disturbed sand-bed channels of varying bank resistance, show identical adjustments in flow energy and the rate of energy dissipation. The processes that dominate adjustment and the ulitimate stable geometries, however, are vastly different, depending on the cohesion of the channel banks and the supply of hydraulically-controlled sediment (sand) provided by bank erosion. These types of results contradict the fundamental underpinning of the Rosgen “natural channel design” and “reference-reach approach” to stream restoration and TMDL development.
Physically-based, mechanistic approaches that rely on quantifying the driving and resisting forces that control active processes and ultimate channel morphology are better suited since the physics of erosion, transport, and deposition are the same regardless of the hydro-physiographic province or stream type because of the uniformity of physical laws. Methodologies have been developed to determine “reference” sediment transport rates. These methods acknowledge the dynamic nature of fluvial adjustment. Thus, systems characterized by instability have higher suspended-sediment yields than stable systems within the same general physiographic and climatic setting. Recent research has shown that suspended-sediment yields vary by ecoregion and that stable (“reference”) conditions can be distinguished from unstable conditions by stage of channel evolution. This methodology provides a framework and an important first step for differentiating between those systems within a given ecoregion that have accelerated rates of erosion and sediment delivery, representing water-quality impacts due to sediment.
The Hungry Canyons Alliance and Streambed Stabilization in Western Iowa
The Hungry Canyons Alliance provides cost share, research assistance, and technical guidance to counties in the loess soils of western Iowa to control stream channel bed erosion and degradation. Stream channel erosion has caused more than $1.1 billion in damages to public and private infrastructure and farmland in the deep loess soil region of western Iowa. An affordable solution to this problem is to build weir, or low-head dams in streams, which reduce stream energy, stabilize channel bed and banks upstream, and protect threatened bridges, utilities, and farmland. Recent research results and ongoing research projects will also be discussed.
REMAP by the Numbers
The Regional Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program or REMAP was established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a means of providing technical assistance and tools for assessing the condition of the Nation’s lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands. Iowa is fortunate to have both stream and wetland REMAP projects. This presentation provides an update of Iowa’s stream REMAP project, which spanned a five-year sampling period from 2002 through 2006. REMAP is all about numbers. The foundation of the stream REMAP project is a random sampling framework in which each stream segment has a known probability of being chosen. From this random sample, a wide variety of useful statistics can be obtained that paint an unbiased picture of stream conditions throughout Iowa.
Continuous In-stream Monitoring to Measure and Estimate Water-quality Concentrations, Densities, and Loads
Continuous in-stream water-quality monitoring provides real or near real-time data on the variability of water quality in streams and reservoirs in response to changes in hydrologic conditions. These frequent water-quality data are useful in making water treatment, regulatory programs, and public safety management decisions. A continuous in-stream water-quality monitoring system developed by the U.S. Geological Survey in Kansas provides real-time estimates of constituent concentrations, densities, loads for sediment, major inorganic ions, selected nutrients and metals, atrazine, geosmin (an algal compound associated with taste and odor), and indicator bacteria that cannot be measured continuously in-stream. Regression models are used to relate constituent concentrations in laboratory-analyzed discrete samples to in-stream sensor measurements such as specific conductance and turbidity. At each monitoring site, estimates of uncertainty and probability of exceeding relevant water-quality criteria are provided that improve the characterization of water quality compared to traditional approaches (http://ks.water.usgs.gov/Kansas/rtqw/). Examples of statistical models and interpretations from selected stream and reservoir sites in Kansas and other locations in the United States will be presented.