Water from this reservoir will be used more extensively by the city, so we are developing methods of assessing the water quality in real time by measuring characteristics of stream flow that correlate with important water quality data.
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The area contributing recharge to this aquifer is undergoing rapid growth, generating more wastewater. We found that nitrate, a major component of wastewater and a nutrient that can degrade water quality, has increased in the creeks in this area.
Sampling for pesticide contamination in four major rivers in in the Bighorn and North Platte River Basins, begun in 2006 and resampled in 2009 and 2010 revealed concentration at levels below the standards for drinking water.
Sulfate deposition to high-elevation areas has decreased here as a result of reductions in SO2 emissions. Nitrate deposition did not change, whereas ammonium deposition increased, particularly at sites near urban and agricultural areas.