Stream Water Monitoring Site Measurement:
Water temperature is the measure of the average kinetic energy of water molecules. It is measured on a linear scale of degrees Celsius or degrees Fahrenheit. Water temperature is one of the most important water quality parameters. Degrees Celsius is preferred for scientific analysis and is always used on the TIIMS web site.
Importance of Water Temperature:
Aquatic organisms from microbes to fish are dependent on certain temperature ranges for their optimal health. Optimal temperatures for fish depend on the species. Acceptable ranges cannot be assigned without understanding the aquatic ecosystem. The maximum tolerable temperature depends on the species. If water temperatures are outside this optimal range for a prolonged period of time, organisms are stressed and can die. Temperature affects the oxygen content of the water (oxygen levels become lower as temperature increases); the rage of photosynthesis by aquatic plants; the metabolic rates of aquatic organisms; and the sensitivity of organisms to toxic wastes, parasites, and diseases.