| As of fiscal year 2005,
the National Irrigation Water Quality Program
has been inactive.
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National Irrigation Water Quality Program Projects
Program PhasesThe National Irrigation Water Quality Program was conducted in five distinct phases.
Phase 1, 2, and 3 investigations were conducted by interbureau study teams composed of scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey as team leaders with participation by scientists from US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bureau of Indian Affairs, as appropriate. The investigations were to determine if irrigation drainage (1) had caused or had the potential to cause significant harm to fish, wildlife, or human health and/or (2) could adversely affect the suitability of water for other beneficial uses. Phase 4 and 5 remediation efforts were led by the bureau that constructed the project, usually Reclamation.
Phase 1: Site IdentificationPhase 1 was a comprehensive survey of about 600 irrigation project areas and Federal and State wildlife refuges. This phase was completed in 1989. Based upon screening criteria, 31 sites in 15 states were identified as having high or medium potential for irrigation-induced contamination problems. After further review, several sites were combined to bring the total to 26 sites. Nine additional sites were later identified for field screening studies.
Phase 2: Reconnaissance InvestigationsPhase 2 reconnaissance investigations were completed for 26 sites identified in Phase 1. Reconnaissance investigations were funded for up to 2 years to investigate and determine levels of potential toxic chemicals in water, sediment, plants, fish, and aquatic birds, and if those contaminants were at a level that could potentially cause injury to fish or wildlife resources. The 26 reconnaissance investigation sites are listed below with links to the resulting data and reports from Phases 2, 3, 4 and 5 as appropriate.
Phase 3: Detailed StudiesDetailed studies were field studies to gather information to identify the extent of any biological impacts. They included identification of sources, transport mechanisms and fate of potentially toxic chemicals, and quantification of adverse impacts. Based upon the results of the reconnaissance investigations, it was determined that 8 of the 26 warranted a more in-depth investigation. These were:
Phase 4: Remediation PlanningPhase 4 was a development of remediation alternatives to alleviate any existing biological impacts found during Phase 3. Based upon the results of the Phase 3 detailed studies, it was determined that five sites had adverse impacts to fish and wildlife resources from Federal irrigation projects. These were:
Phase 5: Remediation ImplementationPhase 5 was implementation of corrective actions identified in Phase 4. Two projects, or wetland sites within project areas, were in Phase 5 remediation in 2005.
In 2005, remediation activities in the Middle Green River Project in Utah included extending drains away from Stewart Lake Waterfowl Management Area to the Green River and construction of the seepage collection system in Stewart Lake.