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Water Monitoring 101
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  1. Water Monitoring 101 Presented by: Hoosier Riverwatch With thanks to Empower Results

  2. Agenda Watersheds 101 Water Monitoring 101 Importance of study design and site selection Volunteer Monitoring Activity

  3. Watershed Intro

  4. What is a watershed?

  5. Topography is the key watershed delineator

  6. Watersheds Scale 8-digit HUC 11-digit HUC 14-digit HUC

  7. Stream Order

  8. River Continuum Concept • Headwaters Streams • heavily shaded, leaf litter is important • shredders / collectors are abundant • Mid-order Streams • less shaded, algae more important • grazers abundant • Large Rivers • not shaded, phytoplankton present • collectors important

  9. What is the connection between land use and water quality?

  10. Water quality • Regulated through Clean Water Act (1972) • Waters of U.S. must be “fishable and swimmable” by 1983 • Eliminate all pollution discharge to waters by 1985 Cuyahoga River, June 22 1969 http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2009/06/cuyahoga_river_fire_40_years_a.html

  11. There is no single definition of clean water. The Clean Water Act defines clean water according to how we use it.

  12. How do we use water? • Beneficial uses: • Drinking water • Agriculture • Industry • Recreation • Fisheries and other aquatic life • Aesthetics

  13. How do you know if you have clean water? Water quality testing targets the pollutants that impact different beneficial uses.

  14. Point Source Pollution • 25% of pollution in the U.S. • Direct discharge from industry, sewage treatment plants, etc. • Easier to identify due to “end of pipe”

  15. Nonpoint Source Pollution 75% of Pollution in the US General runoff of water contaminated by poor land use, homes, streets, air, etc. Difficult to identify

  16. Why Do We Want to Improve Water Quality? • Maintain the natural habitat for wildlife, native plants, and your community • Support designated uses of waterbody • Fishable • Swimmable • Protect and maintain cultural significance • Protect drinking water (public health) • Esthetically pleasing

  17. What Measures are Part ofWater Quality Evaluations?

  18. Chemical Assessment Dissolved Oxygen E. coli and general coliforms pH Biochemical Oxygen Demand 5-day Water Temperature Change Phosphates Nitrates and Nitrites Turbidity/Transparency

  19. Temp BOD Gulf of Mexico’s “dead zone”

  20. Physical Assessment – Let’s talk habitat… • Some critters aren’t suited for certain situations and know when to get out!

  21. Citizens QualitativeHabitat Evaluation Index • The following all contribute to habitat and combine to give a final score: • Substrate • Fish Cover • Stream shape and human alterations • Riparian area and local land use • Depth/Velocity • Riffles/Runs

  22. Habitat Evaluations

  23. The Role of Flow… • Helps provide clues to interpret water quality data • Channelization • Amount of impervious surfaces • Affect on pollutant loads & erosion • If pollutant increases in high flow, then guess NPS because concentration increases with runoff • If pollutant decreases with high flow, then guess PS because it is being diluted

  24. Biological AssessmentBenthic Macroinvertebrates: Why do we monitor them? • Chemistry – just a snapshot in time • Macroinvertebrates: • Not very mobile • Spend extended period in the water • Have different levels of tolerance to pollution • Macroinvertebrates provide idea of water quality over extended period of time

  25. 5 W’s of Water Quality Monitoring

  26. 5 W’s Why What Where When Who

  27. Why We Monitor Identify pollutants and sources Establish baseline data Document changes and trends Measure effectiveness Inform stakeholders Assess use attainment Provide information and data to support modeling Characterize watershed

  28. Monitoring Challenges • Failure to evaluate data regularly • Lack of collateral information • Poor institutional integration • No planned study design

  29. Watershed Inventory • Research • Maps and Aerial Photos • Reports & Surveys • Field Inventory • What are the Land Uses? • In-stream Conditions • Color • Odor • Appearance

  30. What We Monitor • Determine sampling goals/objectives • Environmental • Community • Educational • What chemical and/or field samples are taken depends on objective and budget • If interested in algae blooms; sample for nutrients and collect representative algae samples for id

  31. Where To Monitor? • Based on sampling goals/objectives • Upstream / downstream • At bottom of watershed • Multiple sites • Physical location • distance/convenience and access/property rights • Safety • roadside parking, rocky inclines, high flow conditions, bacteria consideration • Best habitat available • should be characteristic of stream reach, yet should aim to ‘level the playing field’ between sites

  32. When To Monitor • Based on sampling goals/objectives • Before and After • Monitoring before and after a large rain • Useful for determining types of pollutants washed into stream after rain and reveal changes that occurs as result of new land use • Change Over Time • Monitoring the same site twice each year for period of 5 years • Useful in identifying trends and picking up unusual situations

  33. Who Monitors (Other data sources) • Federal Agencies • EPA • USGS • Forest Service • NOAA • Fish and Wildlife • States • IDEM • DNR • Health Department • Drinking Water Agencies • Universities • Counties • Municipalities • Tribes • Regulated Communities • Advocacy Organization • Nature Conservancy • Sporting Organizations • Watershed Organizations • Schools, 4-H

  34. Upper White River Watershed

  35. Why Work With Volunteer Monitors Source of credible data More comprehensive data Greater monitoring frequency Larger # of sites monitored Local knowledge Enhances local stewardship Gain support for your efforts Cost effective (not cost free)

  36. Characteristics of Successful Volunteer Monitoring Programs Well-organized Sound scientific basis Report results Strong institutional support Make a difference

  37. Quality Assurance/Quality Control • Quality Assurance is a broad plan for maintaining quality in all aspects of a program • Quality Control methods are established to control errors • Follow protocol • Repeated Measurements Modified from a presentation given by Linda Green, Rhode Island Watershed Watch

  38. Activity

  39. X HW • Place x on high and low points • Place arrow pointing in direction of flow • Mark waterfall • Label • Headwater • Confluence • Midriver • Falls • Downriver CON MR FALLS DR X

  40. Look at your site