Chemical and Biological Character of Rio Grande Water in the Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge
The project purpose was to study the effects of a waterfowl refuge on water quality using an interdisciplinary approach by monitoring the physical, chemical, and biological character of the water in the refuge. The study was undertaken on the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge along the Rio Grande in Socorro County, New Mexico. A regular monthly monitoring program over the three-year study period has set up to collect and analyze water samples from eight points within the refuge. This was done to establish the base-line characteristics of the refuge waters and to enable detection of both seasonal and waterfowl-caused Changes.
The types of water monitored were as follows; water entering the refuge, water leaving the refuge, Rio Grande water within the refuge which served as a control since it was not used in refuge management, swamp water, irrigation water, fishing pond water, and high-waterfowl-use temporary ponds.
The water used as a waterfowl habitat is not degraded in quality as a result of the presence of waterfowl. There was no increase in soluble nitrogen compounds or any other nutrient associated with eutrophication problems. There were no apparent bird-related changes in the microbiological parameters of water quality. However, impoundment of water salinity through concentration of dissolved ions by evaporation.
The water of the middle Rio Grande used by the refuge has a high concentration of suspended sediments. This appears to effect the concentration of inorganic compounds and microbial populations by adsorption.
The large amount of data from the analyses had been computer stored to facilitate handling of the data. The computer was used to: one, print out the data sheets by sampling station and date; two, perform regression analyses on the data to determine correlations; three, determine data averages and standard deviations for selected time periods within the study; and four, plot the data for given stations vs. time and also in a parameter vs. parameter format.
Project No. A-038-NMEX