Ambient Water Monitoring and Assessment: Resources and Tools
Water quality data are used to characterize waters, identify trends over time, recognize emerging problems, determine effectiveness of water management programs, help direct remediation efforts where they are most needed and to respond to emergencies such as natural disasters. The Environmental Protection Agency works together with partners to collaborate on water quality monitoring activities.
These resources can help states and tribes to understand the relevance of a particular parameter, develop a strategy for collecting data or enhance their monitoring programs with up to date research and tools.
- Basic Monitoring Resources
- QAPPs, SOPs, Protocols and Related Tools
- Papers and Related Research
Once data is collected, states and tribes will use this to assess their waterbodies. The Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (CALM) provides information on collecting and using water quality data and developing assessment methodologies.
- CALM and Appendices
- EPA Assessment Webpage
- Bioassessment Materials
Water monitoring data should be maintained through an accessible electronic database that will allow it to be permanently available and shared among water quality management agencies and others interested in water quality protection and restoration.
- Data Storage
- Data Visualization
- Tools and Examples
The Clean Water Act requires the EPA and states to report on the overall condition of aquatic resources. The National Water Quality Inventory Report to Congress (305(b) report), the EPA, state and tribal National Aquatic Resource Surveys, and EPA's associated electronic reporting database, ATTAINS, are the primary vehicles for informing Congress and the public about general water quality conditions in the United States.
- 305(b) Reporting
- NARS Reports
- 106 Guidance