Study to probe role of channel modification, eutrophication in impacting Central Valley watershed health

Posted January 29, 2021

SCCWRP and its partners have launched a three-year effort to determine the degree to which human modifications to Central Valley watersheds are triggering harmful algal blooms and other eutrophication issues that contribute to observed impacts to the watersheds’ ecological health.

The study, which kicked off in November, will use existing data to analyze eutrophication in Central Valley streams, lakes and reservoirs; the goal is to understand the relative contributions, if any, of channel modification, hydromodification, physical habitat alteration and nutrient loading in impacting the biological integrity of these habitats.

The work will inform the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board’s biointegrity-biostimulatory policies governing watershed health, and also could serve as a case study informing the development of a parallel statewide policy. The findings also will provide insights into the stressors impacting Southern California watersheds, which are subject to a similar mix of human-triggered stressors.

Researchers hope that the analyses will ultimately identify effective management options both for protecting biological integrity and for controlling the introduction of excess nutrients that can trigger biostimulatory impacts.

More news related to: Bioassessment, Eutrophication, Harmful Algal Blooms