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 EPA/625/R-03/002

  Delivering Timely Water Quality Information to Your Community, The River Index Project: Lower Great Miami River Watershed (87 pp, 2.58 MB) (EPA/625/R-03/002) January 2003

Image: Delivering Timely Water Quality Information to Your Community, The River Index Project: Lower Great Miami River Watershed
People who spend time in, on, or close to rivers can use information about water quality to know when and how to use the river. For example, swimmers can use the information about fecal coliform levels to protect their health when bacteria levels in a river are too high. Anglers can use the information to decide when and where to go fishing. Timely communication of the information is important—if the information is not communicated in a timely way, the value of the information is reduced or even lost.

In 2000, a team of academic and government organizations launched a project to communicate timely environmental information to the public in the southwest Ohio and southeast Indiana region of the Great Miami River Watershed. This project was funded with a grant from the EPA's Environmental Monitoring for Public Access and Community Tracking program.

The goal of the project was to disseminate timely information to the public about the quality of water in the Lower Great Miami River Watershed. This goal was achieved by:

  • Designing and operating a system of water quality monitoring stations to gather real-time water quality data
  • Designing and operating a system to retrieve, manage, and analyze real-time water quality data
  • Using the real-time water quality data to develop a water quality index and a river index for each water quality monitoring station
  • Developing a plan to communicate timely water quality information to the public

This technology transfer handbook presents a case study of the River Index Project. It describes how the project started, how real-time water quality data are collected in the Lower Great Miami River Watershed, and how the data are processed and communicated to the public. The handbook presents lessons learned during the project and provides readers with information for developing similar water quality monitoring, data processing, and outreach programs for their community.

The handbook is written primarily for community organizers, nonprofit groups, local government officials, tribal officials, and other decision makers who implement environmental monitoring and outreach programs.

Contact

Dan Petersen

 


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