Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Modeling Flow and Water Quality in an Effluent-Dependent Mountain Stream

Presenter Information

Gracie MillerFollow
Sarah NullFollow

Class

Article

Department

Watershed Sciences

Faculty Mentor

Sarah Null

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Effluent-dependent streamflow is common in arid, water-scarce regions like the American West. This work provides a case study for one ecologically-based optimization model to improve river management and decision-making. East Canyon Creek has critically low flow during summer months and treated wastewater at times makes up more than 90% of flows. Wastewater entering the stream contains trace amounts of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), the combination of which may lead to declines in local fish populations. My research focuses on restoring components of East Canyon Creek's natural flow regime to improve aquatic, riparian, and nearby wetland habitat by diluting treated instream wastewater. I will (1) assess water quality in East Canyon Creek and wetland health in the nearby Swaner Preserve, (2) quantify the water supply and demand in East Canyon Creek watershed, (3) design preliminary instream flow targets to monitor post-restoration success, and (4) develop a systems model to evaluate how these ecosystems may respond to modifications of existing water delivery infrastructure, such as moving points of diversion or changing the ratio of wastewater to streamflow. The results of this work will guide instream flow recommendations and prioritize restoration options for East Canyon Creek natural resource managers.

Start Date

4-9-2015 9:00 AM

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Apr 9th, 9:00 AM

Modeling Flow and Water Quality in an Effluent-Dependent Mountain Stream

Effluent-dependent streamflow is common in arid, water-scarce regions like the American West. This work provides a case study for one ecologically-based optimization model to improve river management and decision-making. East Canyon Creek has critically low flow during summer months and treated wastewater at times makes up more than 90% of flows. Wastewater entering the stream contains trace amounts of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), the combination of which may lead to declines in local fish populations. My research focuses on restoring components of East Canyon Creek's natural flow regime to improve aquatic, riparian, and nearby wetland habitat by diluting treated instream wastewater. I will (1) assess water quality in East Canyon Creek and wetland health in the nearby Swaner Preserve, (2) quantify the water supply and demand in East Canyon Creek watershed, (3) design preliminary instream flow targets to monitor post-restoration success, and (4) develop a systems model to evaluate how these ecosystems may respond to modifications of existing water delivery infrastructure, such as moving points of diversion or changing the ratio of wastewater to streamflow. The results of this work will guide instream flow recommendations and prioritize restoration options for East Canyon Creek natural resource managers.