Lotic Hydrological provides services to help clients improve their understanding of interactions between human and natural environments and any subsequent effects on watershed hydrology, ecology, and biogeochemistry. Ultimately, our goal is to assist clients in improving their approach to use, management and conservation of our valuable water resources. Please download our Statement of Qualifications to learn more about how our firm can contribute to your organization's activities.


  

Hydrological, Ecological, and Hydraulic Data Collection and Analysis

We offer a variety of data collection services including: streamflow measurements, streambed topographic surveying, water chemistry sampling, and aquatic macroinvertebrate sampling. For those clients with more sophisticated data and analysis requirements, we also provide water quality and quantity trends analysis, fate and transport modeling, characterization of surface-water groundwater interaction, stream habitat quality evaluation, environmental flow assessments, and hydrological simulation modeling.

Recent Projects

Interstate 70 Chloride Loading Analysis

Collected real-time specific conductance data and periodically collected volumetric grab samples at three locations on Gore and Black Gore creeks during spring runoff conditions. Grab samples were analyzed for chloride, magnesium, and sodium concentrations. Results were used to estimate loads of NaCl and MgCl at locations that do or do not receive drainage from the interstate. Results used to improve understanding of the water quality effects associated with wintertime application of deicing chemicals to roadways.

Stormwater Loading Analysis on Gore Creek

Collected paired samples of specific conductivity and total suspended solids (TSS) at six locations Gore Creek using a Lagrangian sampling appraoch during wet-weather events in the late summer early fall period. Observed data combined with available streamflow data to estimate TSS loads in support of ongoing efforts by Town of Vail to reduce the impacts of stormwater on Gore Creek.

Environmental Flow Assessment for the Lower Crystal River

Conducted an assessment of streamflow requirements for habitat protection on the Lower Crystal River, Colorado for the Colorado Water Trust. Used stream cross-section survey and discharge data to parameterize, calibrate and run a HEC-RAS model. Outputs from HEC-RAS were used to evaluate minimum streamflows using the R2CROSS and Wetted-Perimter methodologies.

Brush Creek Stream Health Summary

Analyzed macroinvertebrate and water quality data on Brush Creek near Snowmass Village. Provided a synopsis of current conditions and made recommendations for future actions to improve or protect water quality. Utilized the EPA CADDIS approach for water quality stressor identification. Provided recommendations for future water quality monitoring and assessment activities to help stakeholders better understand emergent water quality impairments or threats.

Selected Longitudinal Streamflow Characterizations

Identified patterns in longitudinal streamflow and measures of water quality and ecological integrity as affected by active water diversion and tributary inflows on segments of the Little Cimarron River, Tomichi Creek, Cochetopa Creek, and the Crystal River in central Colorado. Additionally assessed patterns in streamflow as affected by a range of alternative “what-if” water management scenarios. Assessed biological conditions through a combination of macroinvertebrate and fisheries health assessments.

Snapshot Assessment of Two Distressed Rivers

Collected streamflow and water quality data on the Roaring Fork River through the City of Aspen and the Lower Crystal River. Analyzed data to elucidate relationships between longitudinal changes in streamflow, water temperature, and other easily measured water quality parameters during summer baseflow conditions following the 2012 drought.

Targeted Macroinvertebrate Study for the City of Aspen

Collected macroinvertebrate and water quality data on the Roaring Fork River through the City of Aspen. Analyzed data to infer relationships between stormwater outfall locations, dominant land-use activities, and the composition and distribution of aquatic macroinvertebrate communities.

Targeted Macroinvertebrate Study for Pitkin County

Collected macroinvertebrate and water quality data on the Roaring Fork River through the Northstar Open Space. Analyzed data to infer relationships between longitudinal changes in channel morphology, and the composition and distribution of aquatic macroinvertebrate communities.

Targeted Macroinvertebrate Study for Snowmass Village

Collected macroinvertebrate and water quality data on Brush Creek through Snowmass Village. Analyzed data to infer relationships between treated waste water outfall locations, dominant land-use activities, and the composition and distribution of aquatic macroinvertebrate communities.

 

Water Resources Planning and Program Management

Whether involved in stream restoration project planning, development of a watershed plan, assessment of the consumptive and non-consumptive needs driving management decisions, or water resource master planning efforts, we believe that it is in the interest of all involved parties to develop clear and concise project goals, identify desired outcomes, and embrace adaptive management approaches throughout project implementation. Lotic Hydrological guides clients through this process and provides water resource planning and program support services that recognize the importance of high quality data and information, multiparty stakeholder engagement, and reliance on best-available science.

Recent Projects

Gore Creek Action Plan (GAP)

Developed an action plan for  the Town of Vail to address observed water quality impairments on Gore Creek. Evaluated and prioritized an array of tasks that fell within five primary categories: education and outreach campaigns, regulatory changes, implementation of best management practices, streambank restoration and structural BMP projects, and ongoing data collection and study.

Crystal River Stream Management Plan

Produced a guidance document for implementing high-priority projects and executing feasible water resource management alternatives in the Crystal River watershed. This work responded to a need articulated by stakeholders in the Crystal River watershed by conducting six interdisciplinary evaluations of the physical, biological, and human facets of the Crystal River watershed and utilizing a structured decision-making framework for guiding decisions confronted by several competing objectives. Results from this effort identified, prioritized, and provided initial project scoping for watershed actions to improve ecological conditions and functions in the Crystal River.

Eagle River Watershed Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Program (WQMAP)

Coordinated monitoring and assessment activities, provided data interpretation and technical assistance to stakeholders, identified data gaps, and suggested actions to remedy perceived impairments. Specific activities included: compilation of annual reports assessing current water quality conditions and changes in the trajectory of those conditions; organization and coordination of watershed-wide data collection maximize spatio-temporal efficiency of those efforts; engagement of stakeholders and the general public to support community-wide understanding of water quality issues; provision of technical assistance to program partners; identification, coordination and support of a common data repository for archiving and sharing water quality data; and development of a long-term water quality monitoring plan.

Colorado River Inventory and Assessment

Coordinated completion of a large-scale science based assessment of the segment of the Colorado River that flows through Eagle County, Colorado. Conducted longitudinal assessments of riparian zone condition. Identified potential restoration projects to improve riparian condition and extent, reduce or eliminate invasive species presence, and reduce the impact of agricultural land use practices on tributary streams.

Gore Creek Water Quality Improvement Plan

Coordinated an effort to complete a multi-year, multiphase project and report designed to determine causes of aquatic life impairment in the Gore Creek Watershed.

Eagle River Watershed Plan

Provided technical editing services and support during the 2013 update of the Eagle River Watershed Plan.

High Impact Data Visualization

Communicating complex patterns that often arise in environmental data due to changing conditions across time and space requires a creative and focused approach to data display. Lotic Hydrological takes great pride in the design and publication of interactive and static informational displays, visualizations and maps to unambiguously convey complicated spatial and temporal information to a variety of audiences.

 Recent Projects

Eagle River Watershed Water Quality Report Card

Compiled and visualized  > 34,000 data points collected at 65 sampling locations within the Eagle River watershed over a five year period.  Visualization format conducive to rapid assessment of water quality conditions in subwatersheds, 305(b) reporting segments, and at individual data collection locations.

Impervious Drainage Risk Assessment

 Visualized results from a hydrological model that assessed varying degrees of water quality contaminant risk produced by drainage from impervious surfaces in the Town of Vail.

Relief Maps of the Eagle River Watershed

Compiled elevation, watershed boundary, and stream/river layers in a GIS. Composed visually appealing maps of the Roaring Fork and Crystal River Watersheds in Colorado. Maps will be used by the Roaring Fork Conservancy for educational purposes.

Relief Maps of the Crystal and Roaring Fork Watersheds

Compiled elevation, watershed boundary, and stream/river layers in a GIS. Composed visually appealing maps of the Roaring Fork and Crystal River Watersheds in Colorado. Maps will be used by the Roaring Fork Conservancy for educational purposes.

 

Water Resources Engineering

Questions about water use, water availability, risk analysis, and hydraulic processes require application of water resources engineering approaches. We employ state of the art methodologies and software tools to provide clients with a range of engineering services including: floodplain analysis, open-channel hydraulic modelling, water rights allocation and accounting model development, scour analysis, and surface water/groundwater availability assessments.

Recent Projects

Crystal River EcoDSS

Developed a replicable decision support system for understanding and predicting ecological impacts produced by geomorphic modification of the streambed or implementation of alternative management strategies for consumptive and non-consumptive water uses on the Crystal River. Project entailed physical characterization of the streambed and development of a series of loosely coupled hydrologic, hydraulic and statistical models to 1) predict and simulate rainfall-runoff processes contributing streamflow to the lower Crystal River watershed, 2) allocate and account for ‘paper’ and ‘real’ water along the lower Crystal River according to the Prior Appropriation Doctrine, 3) estimate spatially distributed water surface elevations, stream depths, and velocity profiles corresponding to a range of hydrological conditions, water conservation scenarios, or physical channel modifications, and 4) quantify the ecological effects of alteration of streambed topography or incremental increases/decreases in streamflow on adjoining reaches of the river. 

Lower Crystal River Assessment

Constructed a water rights allocation and accounting simulation model for surface water in the Lower Crystal River in central Colorado. Simulated streamflow conditions during average, moderate drought, and severe drought conditions in association with several alternative water conservation scenarios. Identified longitudinal patterns in stream discharge produced by each environmental condition and management scenario pairing. Formatted results for input into framework for assessing ecological benefits of alternative water management scenarios.

Environmental Flow Assessment for the Lower Crystal River

Conducted an assessment of streamflow requirements for habitat protection on the Lower Crystal River, Colorado for the Colorado Water Trust. Used stream cross-section survey and discharge data to parameterize, calibrate and run a HEC-RAS model. Outputs from HEC-RAS were used to evaluate minimum streamflows using the R2CROSS and Wetted-Perimter methodologies.

Data Life-cycle Management

Lotic Hydrological understands that data collection is not a means unto itself and that data cannot support water resource decision making unless it is timely, relevant, and analyzed in such a way to transform it into actionable information. Avoiding the "data-rich but information-poor" scenario requires careful planning and data life cycle management. Our team develops comprehensive sampling and analysis plans, coordinates and implements collection of raw data, conducts high-quality data analysis, and ensures data is appropriately attributed and published for long-term preservation and use by our clients, regulatory agencies, or the public at-large. 

 Recent Projects

Eagle River Watershed Water Quality Monitoring Framework

Developed and implemented a monitoring framework that outlines procedures for the Eagle River Watershed Council and its partners. Coordinated monitoring and assessment activities to maximize spatio-temporal efficiency of those efforts; provided data interpretation; identified data gaps; compiled annual reports assessing current water quality conditions and changes in the trajectory of those conditions; engaged stakeholders and the general public to support community-wide understanding of water quality issues; identified and implemented use of a common data repository for archiving and sharing water quality data; periodically reviewed data collection activities to ensure they continued to meet changing community needs.

Macroinvertebrate Data Archival and Publication for Eagle River Watershed Council

Attributed raw and indexed macroinvertebrate data with comprehensive metadata to ensure appropriate future use by regulatory agencies, water resource decision makers and individuals. Archived data on the EPA STorage and RETreival (STORET) system for long-term preservation and easy access.

Sampling and Analysis Plan Development for Gore and Black Gore Creeks

Developed a comprehensive sampling and analysis plan for conducting a chloride loading study on Gore and Black Gore creeks. Plan detailed procedures for data collection, metadata attribution, quality assurance and quality control, data analysis, data archival and data publication.

Sampling and Analysis Plan Development for Cattle Creek

Developed a comprehensive sampling and analysis plan for conducting a  study to better understand the impacts of various land use activities on macroinvertebrate community composition and distribution in the Cattle Creek watershed near Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Plan detailed procedures for data collection, metadata attribution, quality assurance and quality control, data analysis, data archival and data publication.

Water Quality Data Archival and Publication for Adam's Rib Ranch

Attributed water chemistry and physical water quality data with comprehensive metadata to ensure appropriate future use by regulatory agencies, water resource decision makers and individuals. Archived data on the EPA STorage and RETreival (STORET) system for long-term preservation and easy access.

Eagle River Watershed Data Portal

Developed a web application for aggregating, displaying, and retrieving water quality and quantity data produced by USGS, EPA, Colorado Department of Environment, volunteer groups, and other third party data collection entities within the Eagle River watershed.

 

Remote Data Acquisition Network Development and Maintenance

New data acquisition technologies allow for the collection of environmental data at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolutions. Our firm designs and installs automated hydrological and meteorological data collection platforms and associated telemetry networks to support real-time data collection and management from remote locations via radio, cellular or satellite. We work extensively with Campbell Scientific data acquisition products. We also specialize in development of workflows and software tools to collate, archive and/or publish data collected from remote platforms.

Recent Projects

John Denver Park Stream Gauge.

 Designed and installed a streamflow gauging station on the Roaring Fork River in Aspen, Colorado. Station designed to collect stage measurements and periodically capture site photos. All data transmitted to a base station via a cellular data network. Data generated by the station used by the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies in an education and outreach campaign.

Coal Basin Streamflow, Turbidity, and Meteorological Station.

 Designed and installed a remote streamflow gauging and meteorological data collection station on Coal Creek, Crystal River Watershed, Colorado. Station designed to collect precipitation, stage, turbidity, water temperature data, and to periodically collect and store volumetric water samples for laboratory analysis. Data generated by the station used in a watershed-scale erosion and sediment transport research project led by the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station.

Roaring Fork Watershed Stream Gauging Network

Worked with stakeholders in the Roaring Fork Watershed to identify streamflow data needs and the infrastructure necessary to meet those needs. Generated a report detailing the preferred gauging station locations and equipment specifications necessary to achieve stakeholder objectives for water quantity and water quality monitoring. Designed a telemetry system for collection, transmission, and archival of data generated by remote data collection stations.

GIS Services and Geostatistical Analysis

Data is only useful if it can be used to generate the types of information necessary to inform resource management and policy decisions or individual behaviors. The spatial nature of environmental data makes Geographic Information Systems (GIS) ideal tools for achieving this goal. We provide GIS-based vector analysis, terrain/watershed analysis, and geospatial statistical analysis.

Recent Projects


Stakeholder Engagement and Dialogue Facilitation

Efficient and equitable water resources management is complex and, often, involves numerous stakeholders with diverse backgrounds or competing value systems. We understand the multifaceted nature of natural resource management and the fundamental importance of effective stakeholder engagement to ensuring positive project outcomes. Our staff is practiced in stakeholder outreach, consensus building, and program coordination. We approach projects with the big-picture in mind and a focus on ensuring that they enjoy a wide base of public and stakeholder support.