- As carbon dioxide rises, deserts to sponge up more than expected says rare 10-year studyPosted 2 days ago
- USGS surveys top-producing aquifers for national groundwater studyPosted 3 days ago
- Federal program preserves critical High Plains playa wetlands against cropland erosionPosted 4 days ago
- Heron Instruments’ dipperLog NANO logs water levels on small budgetsPosted 4 days ago
- Ruler and a rain bucket: Weather Service honors 125-year record at UConnPosted 5 days ago
- Six months after Lake Texoma fish kill, populations completely recoveredPosted 6 days ago
- New sensor captures intricacies of wetland flow; engineered wetlands could especially benefitPosted 1 week ago
- Study documents changes to Green River after 2011 flood below Flaming Gorge DamPosted 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)