Water Resources Professional Project Reports

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



This project is designed to examine how a change in field collection methods can improve the ability to recognize sedimentation/siltation impairments for wadeable, cobble and gravel dominated streams. The specific purpose of this project is to determine how well EPA's Western Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP-W) will accomplish the objectives of the New Mexico Environment Department's Surface Water Quality Bureau (SWQB): to quantify substrate and channel conditions as a potential stressor to aquatic life and to quantify physical channel characteristics in order to provide ecological context for biological response variable data sets. Data collected in 2006 expressed that it would be a cost effective protocol, considering the amount of data collected and understanding the need for more accurate monitoring methods in the majority of the state. The larger EMAP-W data sets will provide the ability to determine regional characteristics that can interpret biological condition. Suggestions for sedimentation assessment enhancement with the application of EMAP-W data include the utilization of sediment specific metrics along with the condition index development, and the categorization of physical habitat metrics to coordinate with various functions of the stream system in order to better represent, and examine stream reaches with the ability to identify potential causes and sources of stress to the system. Other suggestions to improve settled sediment assessments include better documentation for decisions and findings at both the monitoring and assessment levels, a plan for reference condition development to sample a gradient of conditions while maintaining an updated list of reference sites in each region of the state, and limiting current stream bottom deposit assessments to riffle dominated reaches. These changes will improve the accuracy of assessments until long term developmental goals can be reached.

Language (ISO)



sedimentation, EMAP-W, collection methods, Stream Bottom Deposit (SBD) Assessment, Habitat variabilty analysis


A Professional Project Report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Water Resources, Water Resources Program, University of New Mexico.