OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Spatiotemporal surface water trends in a headwater stream of the San Bernardino National Forest


Jose Mora


The Santa Ana River Basin (SARB) is one of the largest water basins in southern California providing water to millions of people across the region. The SARB is ecologically diverse and has changed dramatically over the past several decades due to the rapid increase in human population and urbanization. Many of the basin’s headwater tributaries are located in the San Bernardino Mountains, however, there has been very little water quality research conducted on these headwater tributaries to identify potential health risks to humans and ecological services. Studying such headwater streams could assist the community with determining how human activities impact surface water systems as water flows across the SARB to the Pacific Ocean near Huntington Beach, CA. This study focuses on Waterman Creek; a headwater tributary of the basin located in Waterman Canyon in the San Bernardino National Forest. Surface water from Waterman Creek is captured in the Waterman Infiltration Basin to replenish underground aquifers so that it can be used during the dry season or during extended drought events. This study attempts to identify relationships between the landscape and surface water quality as well as the extent to which seasonal variation may impact surface water quality, by conducting frequent in-situ and lab based assessment strategies. Over a 12 month period, samples were collected and analyzed to determine multiple physicochemical characteristics including nitrate, ammonium, dissolved oxygen, pH, flow rates, turbidity and others. Findings may assist resource agencies and citizens with determining strategies that minimize human-related impacts to surface water resources.

This document is currently not available here.