SCCWRP and its partners have launched a study to investigate whether a stream management tool that can rapidly distinguish intermittent streams from ephemeral streams in the Pacific Northwest is feasible for application in the U.S. Southwest.
The tool, developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10, determines a stream’s flow duration based on easily observed field indicators, such as presence of wetland vegetation and certain families of aquatic insects.
Streams that are intermittent vs. ephemeral have different regulatory requirements in some cases, making it important that streams are classified correctly. Intermittent streams are defined as streams that have sustained seasonal flows from snow melt and groundwater, whereas ephemeral streams only experience brief surface flows from runoff.
Site selection and field training began in March. SCCWRP and its partners will test the Pacific Northwest tool in coastal and desert streams in California, as well as streams in Arizona and New Mexico.
More news related to: Bioassessment, Ecohydrology