Colorado Volunteers Monitor Health of Rivers on World Water Monitoring Day

A River Watch of Colorado volunteer participates in World Water Monitoring Day.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Logo

Travis Duncan, CPW Statewide

DENVER – River Watch of Colorado is excited to mark World Water Monitoring Day on September 18, 2018. River Watch is Colorado’s statewide volunteer water quality-monitoring program operated by the nonprofit Earth Force in partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. World Water Monitoring Day is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness of the importance of protecting water resources around the world by engaging people to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies.

Founded in 1989, River Watch of Colorado’s mission is to work with voluntary stewards to monitor water quality and other indicators of watershed health and utilize this high quality data to educate citizens and inform decision makers about the condition of Colorado’s waters. The program is unique in its statewide focus and frequency of data collection.

“River Watch students and adults embody the mission of World Water Monitoring Day every month of the year,” said Vince Meldrum, President and CEO at Earth Force. “Our citizen scientists are stewards of the rivers, collecting data that decision makers in Colorado need to create informed water policy.”

This year, nearly 2,000 student and adult River Watch volunteers are collecting water quality samples to monitor the health of their neighborhood rivers in Colorado. Working as a team, volunteers collect heavy metal samples and test for pH, alkalinity, hardness, dissolved oxygen, and temperature every month. They collect nutrient samples biannually, during low and high flow periods, and once a year monitor the physical habitat of their site while collecting a macroinvertebrate (bug) sample.

“CPW has supported this important program for almost 30 years to inform our aquatic biologists and hatchery managers about water quality issues and to assist the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in filling water quality information gaps that would otherwise exist without the help of hundreds of River Watch volunteers,” said CPW Water Resources Section Manager Jackie Corday.

To learn more about River Watch, visit coloradoriverwatch.org or contact riverwatch@coloradowatershed.org.

To learn more about Earth Force, visit earthforce.org or contact earthforce@earthforce.org.

To learn more about Colorado Parks and Wildlife, visit cpw.state.co.us.

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