Water quality and land treatment monitoring
begins by defining management objectives for
the water resource. The water quality problem
must also be documented with reliable data.
Management objectives andproblem documen-
Objectives and Problem
tation are necessary for further management
actions such as development of a monitoring
program. A monitoring program yields mean-
ingful results only with clear direction from
carefully developed objectives and a thorough
investigation of the water quality problem.
Monitoring supports project objectives by providing information to track progress
and to evaluate project effectiveness. Management objectives are usually related
to protecting a threatened water resource, restoring designated water body use, or
achieving a water quality standard.
Carefully defining and documenting the water quality problem is one of the most
important steps for NPS pollution control and water quality monitoring. An
monitoring uses a
effective approach is to implement a problem identification monitoring program
lasting six to 18 months. Problem identification monitoring uses a site-specific
specific plan to
plan to identify pollution sources and impacts during both
pollution sources and
conditions; monitoring may be most effective during the seasons of greatest
pollutant loading (spring runoff, snowmelt) and during the season when impair-
ments are noted (algal blooms, shellfish closing).
For documentation, in-project use, and communicatingwith the public, a problem
statement should be written. The problem statement summarizes the results of a
thorough effort to investigate and document present or potential negative impacts
on water quality. The statement draws together the history, causes, and significant
contributing factors affecting the quality of the water resource, including pollut-
ants, their sources and timing, background fluxes, and habitat and site factors that
influence the problem. The statement also establishes the basis for the implemen-
Accurate and complete
tation of the land treatment program.
problem assessment is
The level of problem assessment depends on the nature of the impairment of the
instrumental to achieving
water resource, diversity of pollutant sources, hydrologic transport system, and
size of the watershed. Accurate and complete problemassessment is instrumental
water qualify goals.
to achieving water quality goals. An evaluation of the problem and land use
upgradient from the water resource provides much of the information to specify
the monitoring program objective.