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Composite measures of watershed health from a water quality perspective
Ganeshchandra Mallya, G., M. Hantush, AND R. Govindaraju. Composite measures of watershed health from a water quality perspective. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 214:104-124, (2018).
Presents a methodology for risk-based watershed health assessment using reconstructed water quality time series and applies the methodology for water sediment and nutrient assessment in three major river basins in the Midwest.
Water quality data at gaging stations are typically compared with established federal, state, or local water quality standards to determine if violations (concentrations of specific constituents falling outside acceptable limits) have occurred. Based on the frequency and severity of water quality violations, risk metrics such as reliability, resilience, and vulnerability (R-R-V) are computed for assessing water quality-based watershed health. In this study, a modified methodology for computing R-R-V measures is presented, and a new composite watershed health index is proposed. Risk-based assessments for different water quality parameters are carried out using identified national sampling stations within the Upper Mississippi River Basin, the Maumee River Basin, and the Ohio River Basin. The distributional properties of risk measures with respect to water quality parameters are reported. Scaling behaviors of risk measures using stream order, specifically for the watershed health (WH) index, suggest that WH values increased with stream order for suspended sediment concentration, nitrogen, and orthophosphate in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. Spatial distribution of risk measures enable identification of locations exhibiting poor watershed health with respect to the chosen numerical standard, and the role of land use characteristics within the watershed.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY
LAND AND MATERIALS MANAGEMENT DIVISION
REMEDIATION AND TECHNOLOGY EVALUATION BRANCH