Riparian Water Quality

Riparian Water Quality

As the build of Los Angeles Aqueduct redirect water ways to highly populated regions, water became a major resource in California. With the aqueduct disrupting natural water systems in the valley, I noticed the quality of water has been managed through various methods. Many factors play a role to influence clean water, such as pollutants and redirection of rivers. While the water supply will remain as a constant variable, riparian vegetation has a big influence in water quality. Although we obtain water from the valley, water must be treated before use for our safety, due to natural pollutants, such as nitrogen. Without a clean water source, the water is useless to us because it lacks as a drinkable water source. As I looked into various ways to improve water quality, streams allow natural water treatment.

In the water cycle, water treatment goes under a natural process of water storage, known as recharge in the soil. As the water percolates into the soil, water is filtrated by the clay like particles. In addition to clean water, vegetation near water ways contributes to clean waters as well, due to the floodplains and discharge of water through rapid streams. Pollutants are removed throughout the sediments and the vegetation. Looking from Owens Valley’s stream restoration, the Lower Owens River Project provides the resupplying of water to allow bioremediation, where nature takes its course to replenish the land. In complimentary ways, riparian vegetation cleans the water in return for water to the plants.

Noticing from the patterns mapped throughout this map, I realized the relation of water that play into vegetation growth. With more water resources mapped out, vegetation will populate the area for a cleaner water quality. The map above indicates a high growth of vegetation where the Owens River meet with the aqueduct. In a way, water and vegetation compliments each other.

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