Water Quality – 06 Section 3: Past Inventory, Monitoring, and Research Activities

Klamath Network Water Quality Report (Phase II)

Section 3: Past Inventory, Monitoring, and Research Activities in the Klamath Network Park Units

In this section, past and ongoing water resources inventory, monitoring and research activities in each park unit are summarized based on information gathered from available project and study reports. A Horizon Report (or Technical Report of Baseline Water Quality Information and Analysis compiled by the National Park Service’s Water Resources Division) has also been completed for four network park units (LAVO, LABE, ORCA, and WHIS). Each report contains information from several sources, including: (1) Storage and Retrieval (STORET) water quality database management system; (2) River Reach File (RF3); (3) Industrial Facilities Discharge (IFD); (4) Drinking Water Supplies (DRINKS); (5) Water Gages (GAGES); and (6) Water Impoundments (DAMS). Each report provides: (1) a complete inventory of all retrieved water quality stations and parameter data, and the entities responsible for data collection; (2) descriptive statistics and appropriate graphical plots of water quality data characterizing period of record, annual, and seasonal central tendencies and trends; (3) a comparison of the park’s water quality data to relevant EPA and WRD water quality screening criteria; and (4) an Inventory Data Evaluation and Analysis (IDEA) to determine what Service-wide Inventory and Monitoring Program “Level I” water quality parameters have been measured within each study area. Core freshwater parameters include water temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, qualitative assessment of flow/discharge at lotic sites, and qualitative assessment of stage/level at lentic sites. Marine/estuarine ecosystem core parameters include water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, and salinity. Horizon Reports can be downloaded from the National Park Service’s Water Resource Division web site at: (http://www.nature.nps.gov/water/horizon.htm).

Klamath Network park units have completed, at minimum, partial inventories of park unit-specific aquatic resources and short-term water quality sampling and monitoring of these resources. The descriptions of past inventory, monitoring, and research activities in each park unit also highlight future network-wide inventory, monitoring, and research needs. It is clear that not all aquatic resources in each park unit have been fully inventoried nor have present baseline water quality conditions been fully determined. These baseline conditions include documentation of the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of each water resource-type. Once these present baseline conditions are determined, appropriate resource sampling designs can then be used to more effectively monitor for potential resource-specific changes. The need for consistent freshwater inventory and monitoring techniques across park units has been identified as an important part of any network-wide program. Consistent sampling design and sample collection will facilitate the comparison and interpretation of water quality monitoring results among park units. Additional important future inventory and monitoring activities include: (1) development of a general monitoring program for Redwoods marine ecosystems; (2) inventories of wetland biota; (3) salmonid fisheries monitoring; (4) amphibian monitoring; and (5) benthic macroinvertebrate studies.


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