The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is launching a new, locally led volunteer water monitoring program to help Iowans better understand their local water quality.
“Volunteer water monitoring [can best] inform local water quality goals if the decision-making and coordination is locally led,” said Steve Konrady with the DNR’s Water Quality Bureau. “We can help interested communities, watersheds, counties, and regions get started and have an opportunity to take ownership and derive more value from their locally led volunteer water monitoring programs.”
While volunteer water monitoring has been a component of the DNR since 1998, this program will shift to a locally led focus to better serve partner communities, organizations, and citizens. The DNR will provide local project leaders with training if needed, and then local volunteers will receive training from and work with those leaders on sampling coordination and data reporting.
The DNR recommends that volunteers submit data collected through these projects to U.S. EPA’s Water Quality eXchange (WQX), which already houses much of Iowa’s previous volunteer monitoring data along with U.S. Geological Survey and other data sources.
States interested in starting their own water monitoring effort locally can visit the volunteer water monitoring site for more information.