Abstract: Session E  3:30 pm (Back to Session E)
Determining the Effects of Stream Restoration Projects on Water Quality in Northern New Mexico

Daniel Guevara, Watershed Scientist
NM Environment Department, Surface Water Quality Bureau
Santa Fe, NM

The Surface Water Quality Bureau (SWQB) of the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) began an Effectiveness Monitoring program in 2008 to document water quality improvements from Clean Water Act §319 projects. Water quality is measured upstream and downstream of multiple stream restoration projects before and after implementation, to document the effectiveness of projects in improving impaired streams.  This monitoring has focused primarily on-stream temperature, which is one of the most common causes of stream impairment in New Mexico.  Onset Hobo data loggers record stream temperature at 15-minute intervals from spring through fall, and this allows for an Analysis of Covariance to quantify the effects of the projects, which primarily involve fencing, planting, and in-stream structures.  Results have shown decreases in maximum stream temperatures due to restoration on Bluewater Creek, San Antonio Creek, and Comanche Creek.  Other projects have not produced similar results, but monitoring is ongoing to account for the lag time of vegetation growth.  These results can provide useful feedback to project managers and restoration practitioners in planning future work.