SCCWRP and its partners have initiated a pair of case studies to demonstrate a set of new causal assessment tools designed to rapidly narrow potential causes of degraded ecological condition in streams and estuaries.
The first case study, which kicked off in late 2017, will focus on degraded streams in San Diego, and is intended to help make the screening-level tools more responsive to changes in hydrological flow patterns.
The second case study, which kicked off in March in partnership with the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board, will examine how to integrate the tools into routine stream monitoring programs.
The screening-level causal assessment tools being tested draw upon a standard list of possible stressors that either can be rapidly eliminated from consideration, or identified as a possible cause of impairment based on as a standard set of evidence types.
This screening-level step is intended to serve as the first tier of a proposed three-tiered framework for conducting causal assessments in streams and estuary environments in California, with subsequent tiers providing more intensive and stressor-specific analysis.
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