Sunday, June 22, 2014

Settling in

I've traveled from east to west and have visited many areas along the way, some big and some small. This visit has certainly been one of the most shocking and hopefully meaningful.

I have never in my life, seen streams and rivers with the brown tint due to the sediment being transported down them. Everywhere I've been before has always had crystal clear water with extremely high visibility, even the lakes back home that looked blue/green had a bit of visibility. It's sad that this is such a normal occurrence now to all those that live here, and I can only hope I make a difference even if it's in the smallest way.

From our field work we saw so much erosion along the river banks. Even small streams  are brown with high sediment loads. There are a few simple fixes that could go a long way to helping these problems. For example, buffers could be added along all the waterways and within low lying fields, so that less sediment is transported into the river after a heavy rainstorm. No till farming is also needed in low lying areas that are susceptible to high water and potential erosion. These are just a few ways to help all the sediment being lost.

My partner and I are hoping to gather some preliminary data at several sites along the watershed in order to show groundwater and surface water interactions, testing the water for phosphorus and creating a hydrograph in order to show the spikes that occur throughout the time we are here. Hopefully these stations can stay in place once we leave so that the data is continually being collected.

This is obviously a team effort, and if anything is to be done, everyone will have to work together and have better land management practices in order to help solve the issue. This won't be a quick fix, and there is not one person or one group to blame this issue on. Everyone in this area could do something to help fix this watershed, including myself while I'm here.

Here are few pictures of our piezometers in construction as well as recent photographs of our soon to be testing sites in the watershed. They clearly show the amount of erosion and sediment occurring in the water.

No comments:

Post a Comment