|Abstract:||In response to increasing concern about the quality of irrigation drainage
and its potential effects on fish, wildlife, and human health, the U.S.
Department of the Interior began the National Irrigation Water Quality Program
(NIWQP) to investigate these concerns at irrigation projects sponsored by
the Department. The San Juan River in northwestern New Mexico was one of
the areas designated for study.
Study teams composed of scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Bureau of
Indian Affairs collected water, bottom-sediment, soil, and biological samples
at 61 sites in the San Juan River area during 1993-94. Supplemental data
collection conducted during 1991-95 by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and its
contractor extended the time period and sampling sites available for analysis.
Analytical chemistry performed on samples indicated that most potentially
toxic elements other than selenium generally were not high enough to be of
concern to fish, wildlife, and human health.
Element concentrations in some water, bottom-sediment, soil, and
biological samples exceeded applicable standards and criteria suggested by
researchers in current literature. Selenium concentrations in water samples from
28 sites in the study area exceeded the 2-microgram-per-liter wildlife-habitat
standard. Vanadium concentrations in water exceeded the 100-microgram-per-liter
standard for livestock-drinking water at one site. In biota, selenium and
aluminum concentrations regularly equaled or exceeded avian dietary threshold
concentrations. In bottom sediment and soil, element concentrations above the
upper limit of the baseline range for western soils were: selenium, 24
exceedances; lead, 2 exceedances; molybdenum, 2 exceedances; strontium, 4
exceedances; and zinc, 4 exceedances.
Concentrations of total selenium in bottom-sediment and soil samples were
significantly greater for Cretaceous than for non-Cretaceous soil types in the
study area and were generally similar for habitats within and outside
irrigation-affected areas. Mean and median total-selenium concentrations in
samples from areas with Cretaceous soil types were 4.6 and 2.2 micrograms per
gram, respectively. Mean and median total-selenium concentrations in samples
from areas with non-Cretaceous soil types were 0.6 and 0.15 microgram per
Samples from the study area had low concentrations of organic
constituents. Organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls were
detected in a few biological samples at low concentrations. Polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds were not detected in whole-water samples
collected using conventional water-sampling techniques. In tests involving the
use of semipermeable-membrane devices to supplement conventional water assays
for PAH‘s, low concentrations of PAH‘s were found at several locations in the
Hammond Irrigation Supply Canal, but were not detected in the Hammond ponds at
the downstream reach of the Hammond irrigation service area. PAH compounds do
not appear to reach the San Juan River through the Hammond Canal.
Data indicate that water samples from irrigation-drainage-affected
habitats had increased mean selenium concentrations compared with samples from
irrigation-delivery habitat. The mean selenium concentration in water was
greatest at seeps and tributaries draining irrigated land (17 micrograms per
liter); less in irrigation drains and in ponds on irrigated land (6 micrograms
per liter); and least in backwater, the San Juan River, and irrigation-supply
water (0.5 - 0.6 microgram per liter).
Statistical tests imply that irrigation significantly increases selenium
concentrations in water samples when a Department of the Interior irrigation
project is developed on selenium-rich sediments. Water samples from sites with
Cretaceous soils had signi
|Genre: ||USGS Numbered Series
|Citation Author: ||Thomas, Carole L.; Wilson, R.M.; Lusk, J.D.; Bristol, R.S.; Shineman, A.R.
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|Citation Language: ||ENGLISH
|Citation Larger Work Title: ||Water-Resources Investigations Report
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|Citation Phsyical Description: ||v, 84 p. :ill., maps (some col.) ;28 cm.
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|Citation Publisher: ||U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ;
Branch of Information Services [distributor],
|Citation Series: ||Water-Resources Investigations Report
|Citation Series Code: ||WRI
|Citation Series Number: ||98-4213
|Citation Search Results Text: ||Detailed study of selenium and selected constituents in water, bottom sediment, soil, and biota associated with irrigation drainage in the San Juan River area, New Mexico, 1991-95; 1998; WRI; 98-4213; Water-Resources Investigations Report; Thomas, Carole L.; Wilson, R.M.; Lusk, J.D.; Bristol, R.S.; Shineman, A.R.
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|Citation Volume: ||
|Citation Year: ||1998
|Text: ||Detailed study of selenium and selected constituents in water, bottom sediment, soil, and biota associated with irrigation drainage in the San Juan River area, New Mexico, 1991-95; 1998; WRI; 98-4213; Water-Resources Investigations Report; Thomas, Carole L.; Wilson, R.M.; Lusk, J.D.; Bristol, R.S.; Shineman, A.R.
|URL (THUMBNAIL): ||http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/thumbnails/usgs_thumb.jpg
|Date Other: ||Thu, 1 Feb 2001 00:00 -0600
|Publisher: ||U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ;
Branch of Information Services [distributor],