Rio Ruidoso Reclassification as ‘Cool Water’ Stream

A recent Ruidoso Village meeting sparked heated debate during a presentation of scientific data collected for consideration of a possible reclassification of the lower Rio Ruidoso from a cold water stream to cool water.

More than 60 people who are customers of the regional wastewater treatment plant that serves Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs and portions of the Mescalero Apache Reservation, showed up at village hall for the session. The decision of the state about the designation of either cold or cool water for aquatic life will impact the ultimate cost to customers of the plant for the treatment of the discharge to attain water quality standards. Jim Good of Environmental Science Associates, who conducted the study, presented data that showed a cool water designation was appropriate primarily due to high summer water temperatures attributed to warm air temperatures; dissolved oxygen conditions that often do not meet cold water criteria, because of the combination of warm temperatures and low atmospheric pressures that occur at relatively high elevation; and a lack of reproducing populations of fish species that depend on cold water.

From the November/December 2017 newsletter 

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