Rivanna Conservation Alliance publishes 2021 water quality report

The Rivanna Conservation Alliance has issued its annual stream health report based on water quality monitoring from 2018 through 2021. Based on their data, the number of impaired streams increased. (read the report)

“The percentage of our sampled streams that failed to meet water quality standards for aquatic life grew from 68 percent in last year’s report to 82 percent in this one,” reads the report. 

However, the document acknowledges difficulty in collecting data in 2018 and 2019 due to heavy rain events that scoured stream beds and banks, as well as difficulty collecting data during the pandemic. 

“Most notably, seven of the nine sites that moved from an assessment of very good or good down to fair were affected by unusually large hatches of black fly larvae that reduced biodiversity in our samples,” the report continues. 

Another item of note in 2020 is the completion of a 15-year study on the long-term effects of large-scale water quality improvements such as stream restoration, planting of buffers along streams, or upgrades to wastewater treatments plants. That’s based on looking at all 50 monitoring sites and finding that those that improved were close to some form of improvement. 

Take a look at the full report for more details on how data is collected (Credit: Rivanna Conservation Alliance)

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the December 14, 2021 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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