SCCWRP and its partners have developed a workplan for a two-year study that aims to improve managers’ understanding of how water temperature affects the health of sensitive aquatic life in Southern California streams where treated wastewater effluent is being discharged.
The study workplan, presented in June to the project’s technical advisory committee, focuses on the upper Santa Clara River watershed, and complements a similar ongoing study in the San Gabriel River watershed. Wastewater effluent is typically discharged into streams above the stream’s ambient temperature.
Unlike the San Gabriel River watershed, the Santa Clara River watershed receives inputs from groundwater supplies. Groundwater is thought to have a cooling effect on river temperature, meaning the groundwater in the Santa Clara River has the potential to help offset increased temperatures from the wastewater discharges.
The investigations are motivated by a new generation of wastewater discharge permits that have lowered the maximum temperature at which receiving water is required to be maintained.
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