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WATER QUALITY MONITORING

Since it was formed in 1999, ACWA has been committed to establishing a comprehensive database of water quality monitoring information. The initial goal was to set up an ongoing regime within the watershed to establish baseline water quality data, help watershed stakeholders better understand the conditions of surface waters and identify areas of concern.

Numerous water quality parameters can be evaluated, including nitrate (nitrogen), phosphorus, bacteria, dissolved oxygen, temperature and turbidity - all common characteristics used in evaluating the attributes of surface water.

Laboratory analysis of ACWA's water monitoring samples takes place at the Iowa Soybean Association's new laboratory, in Ankeny. ISA Environmental Scientist Chris Jones, PhD, former lab supervisor at Des Moines Water Works, oversees the ISA lab and conducts ACWA water monitoring analysis.

With a baseline set, ongoing water quality monitoring tracks any changes as management practices evolve across a number of farming operations in a watershed. This method is used in reports such as that describing progress made in the Brushy Creek project.

Data from water quality monitoring proves valuable in providing scientific support that helps leverage grants and other funding, such as selection of the Boone River watershed as one of four key Iowa watersheds for Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) projects.

2010 Water Monitoring Sites and Selected Data - MAP

Average Nitrate Concentrations - Beaver Creek
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Average Nitrate Concentrations - Boone River
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Average Nitrate Concentrations - Racoon River
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