Sacramento River California Watershed
Toxics Control Program
Issues of Watershed Contaminant Evalutation & Management


The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, Sacramento, California has developed a watershed-based water quality initiative program devoted to defining the toxic conditions that exist in the Sacramento River and its tributaries. The Sacramento River system serves as the domestic water supply for about 20 million people. It is also an important recreational asset to the Sacramento area and areas downstream.

The overall program is a watershed-based, stakeholder-managed water quality evaluation and management program that focuses on
toxic chemicals such as heavy metals, various organics, pesticides, and herbicides
pathogenic organism indicators and pathogens such as coliforms, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and enteroviruses
precursors of toxics that develop in domestic water supplies including dissolved organic carbon and bromide
nitrate and other constituents of groundwater
excessive fertilization that leads to deteriorated water quality through excessive algae or other aquatic plants
contaminated sediments.

Of particular concern in those studies are the sources of toxicity associated with pesticide use in agricultural activity and urban areas in the watershed; mine wastes from former mining activities; and sources of dissolved organic carbon, Cryptosporidium and mercury as they may impact the beneficial uses of waters within the Sacramento River System, Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta, and San Francisco Bay, as well as downstream uses of the waters for domestic water supply purposes.

An Evaluation Monitoring approach is being used to focus on finding real, significant water quality use-impairments, and determining the cause(s) of the impairments and the source(s) of the constituents responsible for the impairments. Such an approach offers the ability to develop technically valid, cost-effective management of water quality impacts associated with urban-area, highway, and agricultural stormwater runoff.

Dr. Lee has been active in Sacramento River/San Joaquin River Delta water quality issues since 1989. He served as a technical resource to the Sacramento River Watershed Toxic Control Program.

Further information about Drs. Lee and Jones-Lee's areas of expertise is available, as are many of their publications on their work on the Sacramento River watershed and the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta.

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