Data Series 687
Population growth and changes in land use have the potential to affect water quality and quantity in the upper Gunnison River Basin. In 1995, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, City of Gunnison, Colorado River Water Conservation District, Crested Butte South Metropolitan District, Gunnison County, Hinsdale County, Mount Crested Butte Water and Sanitation District, National Park Service, Town of Crested Butte, U.S. Forest Service, Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District, and Western State College, established a water-quality monitoring program in the upper Gunnison River Basin to characterize current water-quality conditions and to assess the effects of increased urban development and other land-use changes on water quality. The monitoring network has evolved into two groups of sites: (1) sites that are considered long term and (2) sites that are considered rotational. Data from the long-term sites assist in defining temporal changes in water quality (how conditions may change over time). The rotational sites assist in the spatial definition of water-quality conditions (how conditions differ throughout the basin) and address local and short-term concerns. Biannual summaries of the water-quality data from the monitoring network provide a point of reference for stakeholder discussions regarding the location and purpose of water-quality monitoring sites in the upper Gunnison River Basin.
This report compares and summarizes the data collected during water years 2008 and 2009 to the historical data available at these sites. The introduction provides a map of the sampling sites, definitions of terms, and a one-page summary of selected water-quality conditions at the network sites. The remainder of the report is organized around the data collected at individual sites. Data collected during water years 2008 and 2009 are compared to historical data, State water-quality standards, and Federal water-quality guidelines. A seasonal Kendall test for trend analysis is completed when there is sufficient data (typically >5 years) at the station. Data were collected following USGS protocols.
First posted October 11, 2012
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Solberg, P.A., Moore, Bryan, and Blacklock, T.D., 2012, Comparison of 2008–2009 water years and historical water-quality data, upper Gunnison River Basin, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 687, 85 p.
Definition of Terms
Water-Quality Sampling Sites