New Mexico Watershed Watch School Name
What types of connections exist within watersheds? • Community settlement often near water sources • Surface water and groundwater • Upstream and downstream
Surface Water and Groundwater Connections • Septic tanks can pollute groundwater • Over-pumping from wells can diminish water in streams
Watershed Management • How do we assess and learn what is happening in our watershed? • How do we test if the watershed is healthy?
Chemistry • Turbidity • Temperature • pH • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) • Nutrients (Nitrogen and Phosphorus)
Turbidity • Measurement of how clear or cloudy water is depending on suspended solids. • How much light is able to pass through?
Temperature • Why is water temperature important to fish or other aquatic life?
pH • Acidic vs basic • Pure water = pH of 7.0 • Rainwater = pH of 5.6 • pH of 6.6 to 8.8 is optimal for most species
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) • Inorganic salts (calcium, magnesium, bicarbonates, etc) • Organic matter • Hard vs Soft water • We measure TDS by looking at how water conducts electricity
Nutrients • Nitrogen • Phosphorus • Too much nutrients cause algae blooms • When the algae die, oxygen gets too low for fish
Biology • Benthic macro-invertebrates • Vegetation diversity • Vegetation buffer width
Benthic Macro-invertebrates (water insects) • Benthic = “bottom dwelling” • Invertebrate = “without a spine” • Some water insects are very sensitive, they can’t handle pollution they tell us if the water has been clean
Vegetation Diversity and Buffer Width • Shading • Filtration of erosion and other pollutants • Bank stabilization • Improved habitat
Physical • Stream-flow/Discharge • Distance of river to nearest disturbance • Rock embeddedness
Stream-flow • How much water (volume) is passing a point in time. • Cubic feet/sec; Cubic meters/sec
Monitoring at Frijoles Canyon • What is the condition of surface water in Frijoles Canyon at Bandelier National Park?
Monitoring at Frijoles Canyon • Temperature • Turbidity • pH • Total Dissolved Solids • Nutrients • Riparian habitat assessment • Benthic macro-invertebrates • Streamflow
Monitoring at Frijoles Canyon • Warm clothing • Good shoes • Water bottle Have fun & be safe!