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DEVELOPMENT OF USE-BASED CHLOROPHYLL CRITERIA FOR RECREATIONAL USES OF RESERVOIRS

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This investigation was sponsored by the Texas Water Conservation Association (TWCA) with support from the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) and the Texas Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (TAMSA). The study was conducted by seven Texas river authorities in association with Dr. William W. Walker, Jr., Ph.D., and Alan Plummer Associates, Inc. (APAI). Its purpose is to provide data to assist in the development of surface water quality standards for nutrients in reservoirs. This investigation focuses on the identification of use-based criteria to support recreational uses. These results can be compared to criteria to support other types of uses of reservoirs (water supply, aquatic life use, fisheries, etc.) to derive appropriate water quality standards for nutrients.

The study method was to collect simultaneous data on user perception of whether recreational use was impaired (and, if so, the extent of the impairment) and water quality data. The water quality parameters measured included water clarity, nutrient concentrations, chlorophyll concentrations, dissolved oxygen, and pH. Data were collected twice each month during the summer in eight reservoirs. Two stations were sampled in each reservoir: one station was in the main body of the lake, and one station was in either a cove or a headwaters area. The study was conducted over two summers. The eight reservoirs studied represent a wide range of sizes, ecoregions, nutrient loadings, and natural (inorganic) turbidity levels.

Over the two-year period, approximately 310 sampling events were conducted, and over 1,800 survey forms were completed. Approximately 96% of the survey records could be paired with chlorophyll measurements. Chlorophyll was concluded to be the most appropriate parameter for a water quality standard.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2005

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