Building a Foundation for Coordinated Water Quality Monitoring in the Klamath River Basin

Document Details:

Title: Building a Foundation for Coordinated Water Quality Monitoring in the Klamath River Basin
Category: Technical Report
File: Royer_2011_0019_Coordinated-Water-quality-monitoring-in-the-Klamath.pdf
Updated Date: 22.12.2016
Author(s)/Source(s): Chantell F. Royer
Publication Date: 2011-Apr-05
Focal Topic: Water Quality, Monitoring Programs
Location: Klamath Basin
Watershed Code: 180102

The Klamath River basin encompasses 10 million acres in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Salmon decline, coupled with impacts to other beneficial uses, have prompted regulatory agencies to list several rivers as impaired under the Federal Clean Water Act. The 303(d) listing and the subsequent Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) development and implementation for improving water quality in the basin have been challenging because coordinated water quality monitoring was lacking within the basin. In response, The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board with support from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Non-point Source Program proposed a contract to facilitate development of a coordinated monitoring plan and a multi-agency water quality monitoring organization within the Klamath basin. The Klamath Watershed Institute, an affiliate of Humboldt State University, was chosen as a neutral party to facilitate the effort. I developed the Klamath Basin Monitoring Plan that identified and mapped the organizations collecting water quality monitoring data, developed a network of monitoring locations for long-term water quality tracking, and identified gaps in current monitoring. Using participatory methods, I facilitated development of a multi-agency organization, the Klamath Basin Monitoring Program, and the collaborative development of a cohesive organizational structure including a shared mission and vision, and gradients of agreement. I identified lessons learned including effective participatory GIS methods and challenges to data sharing. I explored ways of enhancing monitoring efforts using the National Hydrography Dataset – Plus system to provide resource managers with a GIS-based water quality tracking tool and an appropriate scale of resource management.