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Article

Stream Health Estimation for the Plum Creek Watershed

Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research, Tarleton State University, Stephenville, TX 76402, USA
Academic Editor: Tammo Steenhuis
Hydrology 2021, 8(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology8010013
Received: 15 December 2020 / Revised: 16 January 2021 / Accepted: 18 January 2021 / Published: 20 January 2021
Overall health of a stream is one of the powerful indicators for planning mitigation strategies. Currently, available methods to estimate stream health do not look at all the different components of stream health. Based on the statistical parameters obtained from daily streamflow data, water quality data, and index of biotic integrity (IBI), this study evaluated the impacts on all the elements of stream health, such as aquatic species, riparian vegetation, benthic macro-invertebrates, and channel degradation for the Plum Creek watershed in Texas, USA. The method involved the (1) collection of flow data at the watershed outlet; (2) identification of hydrologic change in the streamflow; (3) estimation of hydrologic indicators using NATional Hydrologic Assessment Tool (NATHAT) before alteration and after alteration periods; (4) identification of the most relevant indicators affecting stream health in the watershed based on stream type; (5) preliminary estimation of the existence of stream health using flow duration curves (FDCs); (6) the use of stream health-relevant hydrologic indices with the scoring system of the Dundee Hydrologic Regime Assessment Method (DHRAM). The FDCs plotted together for before and after the alteration periods indicated the likely presence of a stream health problem in the Plum Creek. The NATHAT–DHRAM method showed a likely moderate impact on the health of Plum Creek. The biological assessments carried out, the water quality data monitored, and the land cover during pre- and post-alteration periods documented in a publicly available federal document support the stream health results obtained from this study. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrologic alteration; eco-deficit; eco-surplus; NATHAT; stream type; channel degradation hydrologic alteration; eco-deficit; eco-surplus; NATHAT; stream type; channel degradation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kannan, N. Stream Health Estimation for the Plum Creek Watershed. Hydrology 2021, 8, 13. https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology8010013

AMA Style

Kannan N. Stream Health Estimation for the Plum Creek Watershed. Hydrology. 2021; 8(1):13. https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology8010013

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kannan, Narayanan. 2021. "Stream Health Estimation for the Plum Creek Watershed" Hydrology 8, no. 1: 13. https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology8010013

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