Cayuga Lake Watershed Publications

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Publications of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network.


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    Summary of Cayuga Lake and its watersheds 1927 to 2008
    Bouldin, David (2012-12-05)
    The data base consisted of Cayuga Lake data from 1927, 1968-1974 and 2000 to 2008 and water shed data from 1972 through 2008 – overall on the order of more than 2000 samples. An excel spreadsheet was developed to analyze this data as a calcium-carbonate-phosphate system and interactions with biomass and chemical precipitation. First, as is well known, the Lake is a huge reservoir containing an amount of water equal to 10 years of runoff. This means consequences of changes in watersheds occur gradually but once changed are difficult to reverse. Second, calcium carbonate chemistry of the lake has not changed 1927 to 2008. ALL (1927 to 2008) of the calcium carbonate parameters fit nicely on one cluster of points around one line. The stream water deviates slightly from the lake data but clearly belongs to the same “family”. Third, for the stream data, concentrations of phosphate, nitrate and sediment increases as flow increases and the relation between flow and concentrations has not changed 1972-2008. Fourth, the most reactive phosphate fraction in lake samples (1968-1974 plus 1999-2008) fits within a framework defined by slightly soluble calcium phosphates. As pH increases, the solubility decreases. This provides a feed back mechanism which reduces the impact of inputs of phosphate; photosynthesis reduces the total inorganic carbon in solution and increases pH which in turn decreases solubility and slows photosynthesis. Stream samples do not conform to this framework. Fifth, the concentration of most soluble phosphate fractions of stream water, mixed with inputs from waste water treatment and lake source cooling, decreased by a factor of more than 2 as measured by sampling within 100 m from stream input and to about the concentration of bulk lake in samples at 1000 m from inlet. This is hypothesized due to some unknown combination of dispersion, biological immobilization and precipitation. Clearly, the changes within 1000 m from the inputs transformed the water into something very nearly like bulk lake water. Don’t mess with the inlet until we understand these transformations. Sixth, for future monitoring of streams, the Impact of flow and seasonal effects must include samples from all flow regimes and seasons or else misleading / useless data will be collected. Seventh, there are many discrepancies between observations and expectations based on solubility of mineral forms of calcium carbonates and calcium phosphates. But these relationships are not happenstance – so what is the basic chemistry? In 1972 a project was initiated to study the impact of human activity on water quality in NY with partial funding from the Rockefeller Foundation. Over the next 5 years a multidisciplinary group studied social, economic, and environmental aspects of human activities in central NY and summarized their findings in a book which influenced and influences applied research and extension. I was very fortunate to be part of that work and subsequently I have continued to study water quality in central NY periodically to 2008. During the initial work, Dr R.T. Oglesby introduced us to the limnology of lakes (Cayuga Lake in particular) and I have continued to work on understanding interactions between Cayuga Lake and its watersheds.
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    Lake and Phosphorus Inputs: A Focus on Management
    Bouldin, David; Capener, H.R.; Casler, G.L.; Durfee, A.E.; Loehr, R.C.; Ogelsby, R.T.; Young, R.J. (New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1977)
    Dissolved phosphorus is the element that most influences the productivity of freshwater lakes and impoundments. Algae affect the quality and appearance of water. They affect the level of fish production. They also affect the costs of filtering water supplies for domestic and industrial use. This summary report is intended for use by decision makers in government, the leaders of various organizations and agencies, and interested citizens. It has attempted to point out that there are differences in appropriate control strategies that can be applied and differences in perceptions of the individual families and communities involved. Consequently, flexible policies and institutional arrangements well be needed and can be used without irreversible damage being done to lakes during a progressive “test-and-evaluate” approach.
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    Guide to surface water quality monitoring in the Cayuga Lake watershed
    Anderson, Sharon; Cushman, Susan; Haith, Doug; Johnston, Roxanne; Mawdsley, John; Vawter, A. Thomas; Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, Inc.; Cayuga Lake Watershed Intermunicipal Organization (2009-08-10T19:33:25Z)
    The Cayuga Lake Watershed (CLW) is home to many municipal agencies, educational institutions, non-governmental environmental organizations and citizens? groups with significant interests in the quality of the lake and its tributaries. As a result, numerous studies and monitoring programs have been, and will continue to be, conducted throughout the watershed. However, water quality monitoring studies have differed widely in purpose and scope, corresponding to the interests and funding of scientific investigators, the information needs of specific agencies and the enthusiasm of volunteers. Therefore, any plan for a comprehensive monitoring plan becomes very complicated due to the immense diversity of interests and study questions that drive water quality monitoring in the CLW. The unfeasibility of a monitoring plan lead to the creation of this Guide to Surface Water Quality Monitoring in Cayuga Lake Watershed, which achieves some of the goals of a comprehensive plan while still accommodating the needs and scopes of current and future monitoring activities. The Guide provides an introduction to study design, five objectives for CLW monitoring and the types of sampling programs that could meet the objectives, and an overview of a data clearinghouse begun as part of this project. Appendices provide supporting information such as questions to inform study design, sample field data sheets and explanations of key parameters suggested in the Guide.
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    Smart Steps for Clean Water
    Anderson, Sharon; Payne, Holly (Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, Inc, 2004-04)
    Smart Steps for Clean Water lists practical steps individuals, families and communities can take to protect clean water, with a focus on Cayuga Lake and its tributaries. Two pages of background information cover the importance of clean water, the value of a watershed approach and why individual actions are key. A map of the watershed and its context within the Great Lakes basin is followed by seven sections: Across the Land (stormwater runoff); In the Home (energy use and toxins); On the Lawn (an integrated pest management approach to lawns); From the Well (drinking water wells, Down the Drain (septic systems); In the Car (how transportation choices affect water); and On the Water (boating, fishing and other water-based recreation). Each section has an explanation of the concern and specific steps that address that concern. The twenty-four page publication ends with information about sediment pollution and about an online companion "Pledge for Clean Water"