Healthy streams, rivers, and lakes provide safe drinking water, recreational opportunities, and important habitat for species ranging from the red-shouldered hawk to steelhead to crayfish and dragonflies. Maintaining healthy streams, rivers, and lakes can reduce the need for water treatment and water supply costs and make landscapes more resilient to climate change.
How do we measure health?
To determine the health of a waterway, investigators can use a combination of chemical, biological, and physical assessments. Among the characteristics that may be considered are habitat quality, aquatic life diversity, water chemistry, stream hydrology (water flow processes), the physical channel form, and sediment transport processes of the stream.
Access toxicity monitoring data in the sediment and water in California's streams, rivers and lakes from the state's My Water Quality Healthy Streams portal.