WATER QUALITY:  AN INDIANA PRIMER         Jeff FreyIndiana Water Science Center       March 28, 2012
NATURAL STREAMSReference or unimpacted streams• Diverse instream habitat and  extensive riparian buffers  – Riffle-run-poo...
UNIMPACTED STREAMSReference or unimpacted streams• Diverse biological communities  – Sensitive species  – More taxa  – Str...
HOW ARE INDIANA STREAMS?                                                IMPAIRMENT                  2008   2010Impaired St...
HOW DOES INDIANA COMPARE?               From Dana Thomas, USEPA
IMPAIREDSTREAMS:NUTRIENTS    303d listings
WHAT ARE NUTRIENTS?• Elements required for growth in plants and  animals• Macronutrients (6): C, H, O, N, P, S• Micronutri...
NITROGEN AND PHOSPHORUSNitrogen: amino acids (all proteins), nucleic acids (DNA, RNA)Phosphorus: nucleic acids, organelle ...
NUTRIENT SOURCESAgricultural• Fertilizers• Animal feed lots  – Confined  – Unconfined• Septic systemsUrban• Waste Water  T...
IMPACTS OF EXCESS NUTRIENTS                  Excess Nutrients   Aquatic Life                            Human Health      ...
WHERE ARE THENUTRIENT“HOTSPOTS”?Total Nitrogen• Cornbelt states  dominate• Indiana has some of  the highest ranked      Fr...
WHERE ARE THENUTRIENT“HOTSPOTS”?Total Phosphorus• Cornbelt states  dominate BUT…• Indiana less than  other states• WHY?   ...
HOW DO NUTRIENTS GET INTO STREAMS?• Hydrology  – Fast  – Slow• Chemistry  – Dissolved    • Nitrogen  – Particulate    • Ph...
How Do Nutrients Get Into Streams?                     Case Study: Sugar Creek
NUTRIENTS CHANGE SEASONALLY                 Total Nitrogen
WHY RELATIONS BETWEEN NUTRIENTSAND ALGAL BIOMASS ARE RARELY FOUND?                                            From Munn an...
THE LACK OF RELATIONS SUGGESTSBIOLOGICAL RESPONSES ARE NEEDED • Invertebrate • Fish • Algae   • States with Diatom IBI’s: ...
Daily DO Fluctuations                                 States using:                                 Ohio                  ...
HOW DO WE KEEP NUTRIENTS OUT OF           STREAMS?• Nutrient inputs  • Nutrient management plans• Transport of nutrients  ...
PHOSPHORUS DECREASES AS CROPLAND  IN THE RIPARIAN BUFFER INCREASES
AS THE AMOUNT OF CROPLAND IN THE    RIPARIAN BUFFER INCREASES
MODIFIED STREAMS HAVE DECREASEDNATURAL ABILITY TO REMOVE NITROGENDenitrification• Contact time  with bacteria• Slower velo...
Has Water Quality Improved with the  Implementation of Agricultural     Management Practices?                       Case S...
What are agricultural management           practices?          Conservation tillage                            Case Study:...
No Till Conservation Tillage Increased          Through the 1990’sFrom Evans & others,2000 (CTIC) • Transect     data• Ran...
No Till Conservation Tillage Increased          Through the 1990’s FromEvans  andothers, 2000      Soybeans           Corn...
Sediment Concentrations over Time                                 2.00 Log Median Suspended sediment                      ...
Sediment Concentrations over Time3,000                                                    500         Discharge (ft3/sec) ...
Sediment Concentrations over Time3,000                                                                                    ...
What are agricultural management           practices?           Buffer Strips                           Case Study: Sugar ...
Nitrate Concentrations over Time3,000                                                    14              Discharge   Nitra...
Nitrate Concentrations over Time                    Discharge   Nitrate3,000                                              ...
Population in Hancock County Has Rapidly                Increased                                    Population in Hancock...
Population in Hancock County Has            Rapidly Increased                                                 Hancock Coun...
BIOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES CANHELP SHOW LOW NUTRIENT SITES
A Conceptual Model:      Positive Biological Response to Nutrients                    Thresholds                          ...
Example of Negative Response to Nutrients                                    80                                           ...
BIOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES CANHELP SHOW LOW NUTRIENT SITES• Low nutrients, high algal  biomass (uptake sites)  – Stonerollers ...
WHAT DOES INDIANA CONTRIBUTE       DOWNSTREAM?                        Wabash River                         Ohio River     ...
Super Gages    White River at Hazleton, IN (03374100)       http://waterdata.usgs.gov/in/nwis/uv/?site_no=03374100&PARAmet...
Super GagesEagle Creek at Zionsville, IN (03353200)   http://waterdata.usgs.gov/in/nwis/uv/?site_no=03353200&PARAmeter_cd=...
Surrogates      Suspended Sediment vs. Turbidity                      1,000                                  R2 = 0.96    ...
QA/QC leads to accurate data                                    180                                                       ...
INDIANA WATERMONITORING COUNCIL http://www.inwmc.org/
PRIORITY PROJECTS Optimization of:  Water-quality networks   Streamgages                  Indiana Water Monitoring Coun...
REMAINING ISSUES• Is there a sufficient nutrient gradient to  identify breakpoints?• Can regional breakpoints be used acro...
NUTRIENTS CAN BE REWARDINGJeff FreyIndiana Water Science Centerjwfrey@usgs.gov317-290-3333 x151
APPROACHES FOR DEVELOPING      NUTRIENT CRITERIAMultiple approaches: • Classification • Reference condition • Stressor – r...
USEPA REQUIREMENTS FOR STATESNumerical criteria • Causal variables    –TP    –TN • Response variables    –Chl a (periphyto...
MULTIPLE LINES OF EVIDENCE                                                                           Biological Response  ...
FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION APPROACH                  75%   25%Reference                                   All  sites          ...
Effects Threshold Approach Ecological attribute                        Nutrient concentration                        Nutri...
BIOLOGICAL CONDITION IMPROVES ASAGRICULTURAL INTENSITY INCREASES
SIMILAR BREAKPOINTS ACROSS COMMUNITIES                                20                                                  ...
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Water Quality: An Indiana Primer - Sustainable Natural Resources Task Force 3/28/12

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Water Quality: An Indiana Primer - Sustainable Natural Resources Task Force 3/28/12

  1. 1. WATER QUALITY: AN INDIANA PRIMER Jeff FreyIndiana Water Science Center March 28, 2012
  2. 2. NATURAL STREAMSReference or unimpacted streams• Diverse instream habitat and extensive riparian buffers – Riffle-run-pool• Low concentrations of: – Nutrients – Pesticides – Other stressor/ contaminants• High dissolved oxygen• Cooler temperatures Water Chemistry and Habitat
  3. 3. UNIMPACTED STREAMSReference or unimpacted streams• Diverse biological communities – Sensitive species – More taxa – Stronger and more complex food web• Few unimpacted sites in the region of the Cornbelt we call Indiana Biological Response
  4. 4. HOW ARE INDIANA STREAMS? IMPAIRMENT 2008 2010Impaired Streams Rank AGRICULTURAL AND URBAN IMPAIRMENTS 1 E. COLI OIL AND GREASE 930 3 979 5• Clean Water Act PESTICIDES NUTRIENTS AND NUTRIENT RELATED IMPAIRMENTS 1 1 5 78 163 – 303d and 305b list DISSOLVED OXYGEN 6 NUTRIENTS 63 110 9 PHOSPHORUS 50 50• 26 parameters ALGAE TASTE AND ODOR 20 12 20 12 AMMONIA 6 8 – Acute 2 METALS AND MAJOR IONS PCBs (FISH TISSUE) 653 612 – Chronic 4 7 MERCURY (FISH TISSUE) PCBs (WATER) 324 0 355 69• About 3,000 8 DIOXIN (WATER) 4 69 10 MERCURY (WATER) 0 47 FREE CYANIDE 0 27 impaired reaches PH CHLORIDE 9 14 18 16 SULFATE 27 1 TOTAL CYANIDE 15 0 LEAD 4 0 NICKEL 1 0 COPPER 1 0 BIOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES AND RELATED IMPAIRMENTS 3 IMPAIRED BIOTIC COMMUNITIES 421 570 TEMPERATURE 0 14 SILTATION 3 3 TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS 42 0
  5. 5. HOW DOES INDIANA COMPARE? From Dana Thomas, USEPA
  6. 6. IMPAIREDSTREAMS:NUTRIENTS 303d listings
  7. 7. WHAT ARE NUTRIENTS?• Elements required for growth in plants and animals• Macronutrients (6): C, H, O, N, P, S• Micronutrients (20): B, F, Na, Mg, Si, Cl, K, Ca, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Se, Mo, Sn, I• Most macro- and micronutrients are generally readily available and rarely limit growth – Exceptions: N, P, and to a lesser extent Si NUTRIENT PRIMER
  8. 8. NITROGEN AND PHOSPHORUSNitrogen: amino acids (all proteins), nucleic acids (DNA, RNA)Phosphorus: nucleic acids, organelle walls (P- lipids), energy molecules (ADP/ATP/NADP) From Michael Paul, Tetratech A. Acid (Tryptophan) Phospholipid Bilayer DNA NUTRIENT PRIMER
  9. 9. NUTRIENT SOURCESAgricultural• Fertilizers• Animal feed lots – Confined – Unconfined• Septic systemsUrban• Waste Water Treatment Plants• Lawn fertilizers• IndustryNatural occurrences
  10. 10. IMPACTS OF EXCESS NUTRIENTS Excess Nutrients Aquatic Life Human Health RecreationCommunity Dissolved Taste & Increased Structure Oxygen Odor Treatment Suitability for Toxicity Recreation (Aesthetics) NUTRIENT PRIMER
  11. 11. WHERE ARE THENUTRIENT“HOTSPOTS”?Total Nitrogen• Cornbelt states dominate• Indiana has some of the highest ranked From: Roberson and others, 2009
  12. 12. WHERE ARE THENUTRIENT“HOTSPOTS”?Total Phosphorus• Cornbelt states dominate BUT…• Indiana less than other states• WHY? From: Roberson and others, 2009
  13. 13. HOW DO NUTRIENTS GET INTO STREAMS?• Hydrology – Fast – Slow• Chemistry – Dissolved • Nitrogen – Particulate • Phosphorus NUTRIENT PRIMER
  14. 14. How Do Nutrients Get Into Streams? Case Study: Sugar Creek
  15. 15. NUTRIENTS CHANGE SEASONALLY Total Nitrogen
  16. 16. WHY RELATIONS BETWEEN NUTRIENTSAND ALGAL BIOMASS ARE RARELY FOUND? From Munn and others, 2010 Nutrient Criteria Approaches: Stressor-Response
  17. 17. THE LACK OF RELATIONS SUGGESTSBIOLOGICAL RESPONSES ARE NEEDED • Invertebrate • Fish • Algae • States with Diatom IBI’s: KY, MI, MT Nutrient Criteria Approaches: Stressor-Response
  18. 18. Daily DO Fluctuations States using: Ohio Minnesota Illinois From Munn and others, in progressNutrient Criteria Approaches: Stressor-Response
  19. 19. HOW DO WE KEEP NUTRIENTS OUT OF STREAMS?• Nutrient inputs • Nutrient management plans• Transport of nutrients and sediment • Conservation tillage • Buffers• Transformation of nutrients • Wetlands • Bioreactors • 2-stage ditches BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (BMPS)
  20. 20. PHOSPHORUS DECREASES AS CROPLAND IN THE RIPARIAN BUFFER INCREASES
  21. 21. AS THE AMOUNT OF CROPLAND IN THE RIPARIAN BUFFER INCREASES
  22. 22. MODIFIED STREAMS HAVE DECREASEDNATURAL ABILITY TO REMOVE NITROGENDenitrification• Contact time with bacteria• Slower velocity
  23. 23. Has Water Quality Improved with the Implementation of Agricultural Management Practices? Case Study: Sugar Creek
  24. 24. What are agricultural management practices? Conservation tillage Case Study: Sugar Creek
  25. 25. No Till Conservation Tillage Increased Through the 1990’sFrom Evans & others,2000 (CTIC) • Transect data• Randomly selected• Repeated • “Window survey”
  26. 26. No Till Conservation Tillage Increased Through the 1990’s FromEvans andothers, 2000 Soybeans Corn 1990 – 2% 1990 – 2% 1998 – 72% 1998 – 5% 2000 – 74% 2000 – 8%
  27. 27. Sediment Concentrations over Time 2.00 Log Median Suspended sediment 1.80 1.60 concentrations 1.40 1.20 1.00 0.80 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 Year Case Study: Sugar Creek
  28. 28. Sediment Concentrations over Time3,000 500 Discharge (ft3/sec) Suspended Sediment (mg/L) 4502,500 400 3502,000 3001,500 250 2001,000 150 100 500 50 0 0 Case Study: Sugar Creek
  29. 29. Sediment Concentrations over Time3,000 500 Discharge (ft3/sec) 450 Suspended Sediment (mg/L)2,500 400 1992-2006: No significant change 3502,000 1992-1999: 30.6% decrease 3001,500 p-value = 0.036 250 2001,000 150 100 500 50 0 0 May-92 May-93 May-94 May-95 May-96 May-97 May-98 May-99 May-00 May-01 May-02 May-03 May-04 May-05 May-06 Case Study: Sugar Creek
  30. 30. What are agricultural management practices? Buffer Strips Case Study: Sugar Creek
  31. 31. Nitrate Concentrations over Time3,000 14 Discharge Nitrate 122,500 102,000 81,500 61,000 4 500 2 0 0 Case Study: Sugar Creek
  32. 32. Nitrate Concentrations over Time Discharge Nitrate3,000 14 122,500 1992-2006: No significant change 102,000 1992-1999: 14.3% decrease 81,500 p-value = 0.363 61,000 4 500 2 0 0 Case Study: Sugar Creek
  33. 33. Population in Hancock County Has Rapidly Increased Population in Hancock County 70,000 65,000 60,000 55,000 50,000 45,000 40,000 1994 2005 1990 1991 1992 1993 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2006 2007 Case Study: Sugar Creek
  34. 34. Population in Hancock County Has Rapidly Increased Hancock County, Indiana 4Annual change in population (%) 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 Year Case Study: Sugar Creek
  35. 35. BIOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES CANHELP SHOW LOW NUTRIENT SITES
  36. 36. A Conceptual Model: Positive Biological Response to Nutrients Thresholds EutrophicBIOLOGICALRESPONSE High nutrient breakpoint Oligotrophic Low nutrient breakpoint NUTRIENT CONCENTRATIONS Nutrient Criteria Approaches: Stressor-Response
  37. 37. Example of Negative Response to Nutrients 80 Algal response in thePercent Achnanthidium minutissium Glacial North Diatom Ecoregion 70 Breakpoint 60 0.643 mg/L 50 0.05 Confidence Intervals 40 30 20 10 0 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 Total Nitrogen (mg/L) Nutrient Criteria Approaches: Stressor-Response
  38. 38. BIOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES CANHELP SHOW LOW NUTRIENT SITES• Low nutrients, high algal biomass (uptake sites) – Stonerollers – Creek chubs• Low nutrients, low algal biomass (oligotrophic) – Longear sunfish – Spotfin shiners
  39. 39. WHAT DOES INDIANA CONTRIBUTE DOWNSTREAM? Wabash River Ohio River Major Sub-basins of the Mississippi River
  40. 40. Super Gages White River at Hazleton, IN (03374100) http://waterdata.usgs.gov/in/nwis/uv/?site_no=03374100&PARAmeter_cd=00400,00095,00010DischargeSuspended http://www.ipcamhost.net/test_player.jsp?id= 18&path=usgs-insediment
  41. 41. Super GagesEagle Creek at Zionsville, IN (03353200) http://waterdata.usgs.gov/in/nwis/uv/?site_no=03353200&PARAmeter_cd=00400,00095,00010 Discharge Nitrate
  42. 42. Surrogates Suspended Sediment vs. Turbidity 1,000 R2 = 0.96 n = 13Suspended sedimentconcentration, mg/L 100 Other uses: • Phosphorus 10 • Algal biomass 1 1 10 100 1,000 Turbidity, Formazin nephelometric units White River at Hazleton, IN
  43. 43. QA/QC leads to accurate data 180 5 White River at Hazleton, INTurbidity, Formazin nephelometric Peak Turbidity 160 Raw 161 Corrected 140 4.5 140 Final Turbidity Raw 106 Gage height, feet Corrected 76 120 4 100 units 3.5 80 60 3 40 Initial Turbidity Raw 48 2.5 20 Corrected 48 0 2 8/1 8/3 8/5 8/7 8/9 8/11 8/13 8/15 Turbidity, raw data Turbidity, corrected Gage height Monitoring Primer
  44. 44. INDIANA WATERMONITORING COUNCIL http://www.inwmc.org/
  45. 45. PRIORITY PROJECTS Optimization of: Water-quality networks  Streamgages Indiana Water Monitoring Council
  46. 46. REMAINING ISSUES• Is there a sufficient nutrient gradient to identify breakpoints?• Can regional breakpoints be used across multiple states?• Local vs Downstream Impacts: Account for downstream impacts• There can be nutrient impairment even if there is a “good” IBI score Nutrient Criteria Approaches
  47. 47. NUTRIENTS CAN BE REWARDINGJeff FreyIndiana Water Science Centerjwfrey@usgs.gov317-290-3333 x151
  48. 48. APPROACHES FOR DEVELOPING NUTRIENT CRITERIAMultiple approaches: • Classification • Reference condition • Stressor – response • Mechanistic models • Literature and Best Professional Judgment • Multiple lines of evidence
  49. 49. USEPA REQUIREMENTS FOR STATESNumerical criteria • Causal variables –TP –TN • Response variables –Chl a (periphyton and seston) –Transparency/turbidity
  50. 50. MULTIPLE LINES OF EVIDENCE Biological Response TN (mg/L) TP (mg/L)Study Location Low High Low HighSmith Nutrient IBI (2007) New York 0.34 1.40 0.018 0.065NEET O/E Midwest 0.58 1.34 0.026 0.100Crain and Caskey (2010) Kentucky wadable -- -- 0.032 --Miltner (2010) Ohio -- -- 0.038 --Heiskary et al (2010) Minnesota (North and Northwest) -- 1.77 0.040Robertson et al (2008) Wisconsin (large rivers – inverts) 0.53 1.99 0.040 0.150Robertson et al (2006) Wisconsin (wadable streams – fish) 0.54 -- 0.055 0.067Frey et al (2011) wadable Glacial North (MN, WI, MI) 0.60 1.20 0.030 0.100NEET EPT richness Midwest, West 0.60 -- 0.052 0.174Wang et al (2007) Wisconsin 0.60 -- -- --Miltner and Rankin (1998) Ohio 0.61 1.65 0.060 0.170Robertson et al (2006) Wisconsin (wadable streams - inverts 0.61 1.11 0.088 0.091Robertson et al (2008) Wisconsin (large rivers) fish 0.63 1.97 0.079 0.139Caskey et al (2010) Indiana wadable 2.40 3.30 0.042 0.129Heiskary et al (2010) Minnesota (south) 1.77 3.60Frey et al (2011) Central and Western Plains (IL, IN, OH) 1.70 3.50 0.075 0.133 Background nutrient concentrations or trophic levelsDodds et al (1998) National, 33rd and 66th percentiles 0.70 1.70 0.025 0.075Robertson et al (2006) Wisconsin (median reference) wadable 0.61 1.10 0.035 --Robertson et al (2008) Wisconsin (median reference) large rivers 0.40 0.70 0.035 --
  51. 51. FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION APPROACH 75% 25%Reference All sites sites 23 mg/L 20 mg/L 25 mg/L 0 50 Possible criterion value Nutrient Criteria Approaches: Reference Condition
  52. 52. Effects Threshold Approach Ecological attribute Nutrient concentration Nutrient Criteria Approaches: Stressor-Response
  53. 53. BIOLOGICAL CONDITION IMPROVES ASAGRICULTURAL INTENSITY INCREASES
  54. 54. SIMILAR BREAKPOINTS ACROSS COMMUNITIES 20 Glacial North diatom ecoregion 18 Central and Western Plains diatom ecoregion 16 14 Low nutrient breakpointBiological attribute response 0.60 mg/L 12 10 High nutrient breakpoint 8 1.2 mg/L 6 4 2 0 0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00 2.50 3.00 3.50 4.00 4.50 5.00 Total Nitrogen in mg/L Nutrient Criteria Approaches: Multiple lines of Evidence
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