In response to increasing concern about the quality of irrigation drainage and its potential effects on fish, wildlife, and human health, the U.S. Department of the Interior formed an interbureau task group to prepare a plan for investigating water- quality problems on irrigation projects sponsored by the Department of the Interior. The San Juan River area in northwestern New Mexico was one of the areas designated for study.
Investigators collected water, bottom-sediment, soil, and biological samples at more than 50 sites in the San Juan River area during 1993-94. Sample sites included (1) sites located within Department of the Interior irrigation project service areas, or areas that receive drainage from irrigation projects; (2) reference sites for comparison with irrigation project sites; and (3) sites located within the reach of the San Juan River from Navajo Dam to 10 miles downstream from the dam. The types of habitat sampled included the main stem of the San Juan River, backwater areas adjacent to the San Juan River, tributaries to the San Juan River, ponds, seeps, irrigation-delivery canals, irrigation-drainage canals, a stock tank, and shallow ground water. The types of media sampled included water, bottom sediment, soil, aquatic plants, aquatic invertebrates, amphibians, and fish. Semipermeable-membrane devices were used as a surrogate medium to sample both air and water in some instances. Sample measurements included concentrations of major ions, trace elements, organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic-aromatic-hydrocarbon compounds, and stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen.
This report presents tables of physical, chemical, and biological data collected for the U.S. Department of the Interior National Irrigation Water-Quality Program. Additionally, supplemental physical, chemical, and biological data collected in association with the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project are presented.
Abstract from Open-File Report 97-249
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