Want a measure of rivers' health? Dissolved oxygen is a good starting place
Posted by David Brooks | Monday, September 16, 2013
We're always looking for simple measurements that can give us a handle on complicated things - SAT scores for education, median income for prosperity, lifespan for public health. They're all reasonable measurements, although problems arise when we act as if they're the only measurement necessary.
"How healthy is this river?" is a complicated question. "Measure the amount of dissolved oxygen" is a simple answer, as I note in a story today about the end of the annual volunteer water-sampling program in the Souhegan and Merrimack rivers.
Dissolved O2 has been, you'll be happy to hear, have been quite good in recent years. But that's not the only thing we need to worry about!