typically suffers from lack
ing in inconclusive studies. Successful
ingprograms require long-term
surement of both primary and explanatory vari-
ables related to the management objective. The
project manager should work with the water
quality and land treatment agency to assure that
program objectives are narrow enough to ad-
dress the management objective and the water
The monitoring program objective is developed to address the water quality
problem and the overall management objective. Objectives should be comprehen-
sive, non-overlapping, and relevant, but defined narrowly enough to provide
focus. A substantial amount of time may be necessary to specify monitoring
objectives, but the initial effort should improve long-term program efficiency.
This chapter discusses biological, habitat, physical, and chemical variables for
NPS pollution control monitoring. The discussion of variables is detailed because
variable selection is important for the development of the monitoring objective.
The level of detail needed for several types of monitoring objectives is also
discussed. Chapter4 provides examples of how to formulate aspecific monitoring
objective based on the monitoring design.
The Water Quality
Level of detail and whether the monitoring program will focus on trends in
variables, pollutant loads, or other attributes will be discussed below. The
monitoring approach must also consider the minimum detectable change (MDC)
required to show a significant difference or trend.
Level of Detail
Objectives and budget dictate the level of monitoring detail. Levels differ
primarily in the skill, intensity, time, resources, and equipment necessary.
Different levels provide the manager with options based on resources and
objectives. In this guide, information on levels is cumulative such that the
discussion of level II builds on the information obtained for level I. Examples of
level and level II monitoring objectives are given in Table 3.1.
Level monrtoring is generally
Level I is the basic, minimum level of monitoring, at relatively low cost, for
most useful to evaluate current
assessing conditions and problems or determining trends in easily measured
water quality conditions and to
variables. Level I monitoring is generally most useful to evaluate current water
quality conditions and to document water quality problems. However, despite
document water quality
their low cost, a level I analysis is sufficient and defensible under the right
conditions. If the objective is to evaluate current conditions, the analysis should
focus on anoverall assessment of theecological condition, beginningwith habitat.
Biosurveys and physical/chemical analyses may also be needed to determine