|Rehabilitation of a Severed Meander Bendway: Effects of Flow Augmentation - Discussion
Effects of flow augmentation rehabilitation on water quality within the Coldwater River severed meander bendway were significant and, for several parameters, very rapid. All In-Situ parameters examined during pre-treatment exhibited typical responses to drought conditions (Lake 2003). During this period, rapid evaporation during summer months in addition to little rainfall typical of north Mississippi elicited direct and indirect effects of decreased water volume on water quality. Flow augmentation during treatment significantly improved and stabilized In-Situ water quality parameters within minutes to hours of flow initiation. Changes in solids (total dissolved and suspended) and nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) varied and ranged from minutes to days after initial flow. Solids and nutrient concentrations during and after rehabilitation were similar to more stable aquatic systems within the Mississippi delta (Knight and Welch 2004). Flow augmentation rapidly stabilized water quality and improved habitat for aquatic biota. Improvements to water quality were observable up to several weeks after flow ceased providing continued ecological, recreational and aesthetic benefits to the system.