- Tagged seals and seabirds map Columbia River Estuary depth and salintyPosted 2 days ago
- Wave Glider robots listening for tagged marine animals as part of ‘wired ocean’Posted 2 days ago
- Future scientists get real-world skills in Iowa State water quality monitoring coursesPosted 4 days ago
- Threatened green sturgeon especially prone to getting sucked up irrigation pipesPosted 5 days ago
- Ephemeral desert lakes of the Black Rock Playa studied for climate change effectsPosted 6 days ago
- Minnesota county water agency goes paperless, trading clipboards for iPads and GIS appPosted 1 week ago
- Virginia Tech’s StREAM Lab: Equipped for research, ‘ridiculously valuable’ for educationPosted 1 week ago
- SCOOP sensor packages a ‘game changer’ for National Data Buoy CenterPosted 1 week ago
Utah Water Watch volunteers collect stream data
Volunteers with Utah Water Watch are helping supplement data lost after federal budget cuts reduced the number of stream gauges in the state, according to Utah Public Radio. A USGS stream gauge costs about $10,000 per year to operate, whereas the volunteers’ time is free and the equipment they use costs only $200.
The volunteers go out with thermometers, litmus papers and kits for measuring dissolved oxygen and E. coli. They collect related field data, but also make qualitative observations that help reveal patterns in watersheds.
Macroinvertebrates are another part of the volunteers’ tests of water quality. Their populations are diverse and many aren’t tolerant to pollution, making them great indicators of a stream’s health. Measuring dissolved oxygen, pH and temperature also add to the big-picture view of water health that the volunteers help piece together.
Image: The Logan River, which is sampled by the volunteers, flows from the mountains to the agricultural valley (Credit: Beth Woodrum, via Flickr)