Evaluation of Water Quality Benefits Related to Tamarisk (Salt cedar) Control in Western River Basins.

Project ID: 1241
Principal Investigator: Delbert Smith
Research Topic: Water Quality
Funded Fiscal Years: 2004
Keywords: None

Research Question

With increasing interest in controlling Tamarisk trees in the rivers and streams in the Western United States, there is a potential water quality component that should be evaluated. If these non-native trees consume more water than what is natural to these riparian systems, they also should be degrading the water quality by increasing the concentrations of salts and trace elements like selenium. The simple process of evapoconcentration could lead to increases in salinity in both soil and water.

Sites would be examined to see if there is a good site to evaluate the water quality changes where salt cedar control projects take place.

Need and Benefit

related activities, and invasive species control are all Reclamation mission priorities. Water quality control and control of salt cedar link all four of these mission priorities. Reduced selenium (salt and trace element) loading in river systems in the Western United States could improve habitat condition for endangered species. Willow and cottonwood reestablished flood plain habitat that will replace some of the salt cedar controlled riparian areas likely will benefit endangered willow flycatchers. If it can be shown that control of salt cedar improves water quality, then there is even more support for investing money in this endeavor

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Please contact research@usbr.gov about research products related to this project.

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Last Updated: 4/4/17