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Thank you to everyone who attended the 11th Annual Salt Lake County Watershed Symposium! This free two-day conference encourages a comprehensive review of the current state of our watershed while creating learning opportunities for a diverse array of stakeholders. Sessions covered a broad range of topics on water quality and watershed issues with local, regional, and national relevance. Hosted by Salt Lake County Watershed Planning & Restoration.

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"The Symposium is tremendously important to the future of all of Utah. You guys are educating stakeholders across Northern Utah in an objective, user-friendly way about issues, problems and concerns that are not being discussed publicly anywhere else."  -Zach Frankel, Utah Rivers Council


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Thursday, November 16 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Lower Jordan River Dissolved Oxygen—Is Additional Flow the Answer?

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Lower Jordan River Dissolved Oxygen—Is Additional Flow the Answer?

Summary:
Low concentrations of dissolved oxygen (DO) are a concern in some segments of the Jordan River. The Jordan River Commission and other stakeholders are looking for opportunities to address acute and chronic DO concerns in the lower Jordan River with flow management. Our presentation will provide an update on this effort during the past 3 years.

Full Abstract:
Low concentrations of dissolved oxygen (DO) are a concern in some segments of the Jordan River. The Jordan River Commission and other stakeholders are looking for opportunities to address acute and chronic DO concerns in the lower Jordan River with flow management. In 2014, the Jordan River Commission completed the first phase of a study investigating the use of flow manipulation as a potential mechanism for increasing DO during the late summer season in the Lower Jordan River (LJR). On the basis of data review and QUAL2Kw model output, the report recommended empirical studies to definitively answer two key questions: (1) Is there a defined, positive correlation between flow and DO, and (2) Is there a minimum flow threshold that will support DO levels above chronic conditions in the late summer months? Acting on that recommendation, the Jordan River Commission took steps to implement a flow experiment on the lower Jordan River in 2016/2017. The intent was to manipulate flows and monitor the resulting effects on DO in the problematic reach. Acquiring sufficient water rights has slowed implementation of the study, but significant progress has occurred from discussions with Utah Division of Water Rights and the project could realistically begin in 2018. A recent analysis of historic flow increases (non-storm events) to the LJR have shown high variability and both a positive and negative DO response. However, even small flow increases (< 30 cfs) during late summer and early fall seasons show positive improvements in DO. This experiment is unique in the history of Utah water quality remediation and could lay a foundation for similar work in other watersheds. The experiment goes beyond the simple philosophy of "the solution to pollution is dilution", as many factors and processes combine to influence DO in the Jordan River. Under certain conditions influenced by season, magnitude, and duration, additional flow can produce a negative DO response. Participants attending this session will gain an understanding of historic LJR water rights and how they have evolved to influence existing flow patterns in the river. They will learn about the proposed flow experiment and what challenges remain to implement long-term flow management. They will also learn about DO processes in the Jordan River and the patterns of diel DO recorded at permanent monitoring sites in the LJR from 2012 to the present.

Speakers
avatar for Eric Duffin

Eric Duffin

Watershed Scientist, Cirrus Ecological Solutions
Eric Duffin is experienced in the field of watershed science including hydrology, soil physics, fluvial geomorphology, and computer science. He has been employed at Cirrus Ecological Solutions since 2000. During his professional career, he has managed eight TMDL (water quality) p... Read More →
SS

Soren Simonsen

Executive Director, Jordan River Commission
Soren Simonsen is the Executive Director of the Jordan River Commission. He is an urban planner, architect, educator, community-builder and social entrepreneur. Over the past three decades, including 18 years of public service as an elected and appointed official, he has worked t... Read More →



Attendees (11)