Column: So, how's the water?I often get asked if the water is getting better. That’s actually a tough question to answer.
By: Beth Kallestad, The Republican Eagle
I often get asked if the water is getting better. That’s actually a tough question to answer. In some ways the answer is yes in others it’s no.
To be able to accurately answer the question it’s important to have data over time to understand how conditions are changing. Gathering this data is an important part of the work we do at the Cannon River Watershed Partnership and something we can use your help with.
Becoming a citizen stream or lake monitor is a way you can help us answer the question “So, how’s the water?” The more data we have during different conditions, from almost no flow to floods, helps improve our understanding of what is happening in the rivers and lakes.
Being a citizen monitor is easy – my kids even help me do it. A once-a-day trip to your local water, about five minutes or less of sampling and notations and you’re done. Volunteers record information about how clear the water is, water level, and rate it for recreational use.
Observations during rain fall times are also needed to help give a well-rounded picture of different flow conditions.
Being a citizen monitor is also a great opportunity to build a connection to the water and understand the variability the changing seasons bring. Lake monitoring does require the use of a boat. Stream monitors just need a bucket on a rope and a crossing point over the water.
The watershed is almost a million acres in size which is way too big for our one monitoring staff person to handle. Our goal is to have a person monitoring every lake, river, and tributary stream in the watershed.
If you are interested in helping with this effort, contact Jessica Van Der Werff at 507-786-3912 or email@example.com.
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