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Watershed Monitoring

View looking upstream from a boat on the Suwannee River.One of FDEP’s top priorities is watershed and ecosystem restoration. The process begins with collecting reliable data. FDEP’s Watershed Monitoring Program (WMP) fills this role by taking water samples from rivers, streams, lakes, canals, and wells around the state. Laboratory scientists measure the levels of certain “indicator” substances in each sample. Dissolved oxygen, nutrients, and bacteria are examples of these water quality indicators. Other sections in FDEP use the measurements to determine which waters are impaired and what should be done to restore them. The success of these plans is dependent upon accurate and representative data.

In 1996, FDEP updated its water monitoring strategy to increase efficiency and save money. The new program, called the Integrated Water Resource Monitoring Network (IWRM), monitors Florida’s water at three spatial scales or “tiers”. Tier I relates to the state as a whole. Tier II includes basin-scale monitoring to identify and confirm impaired waters. Tier III consists of site-specific monitoring to determine regulatory compliance. Results from IWRM are used in the state’s Integrated 303(d) / 305(b) Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Several FDEP and regional monitoring groups work together to achieve the goals of IWRM. The role of the WMP is to manage two programs in Tier I: the Status, and Trend monitoring networks. These programs have distinct but complementary goals. Briefly, the Status Network provides a snapshot of Florida’s current water quality; the Trend Network measures changes over time. Open the links above for more details. The WMP developed a new design for these networks in 2009, and made some minor revisions in 2012. See the latest Design Document for more information.

Along with participation in IWRM, the WMP staff leads the Florida Water Resources Monitoring Council. The Council aims to enhance communication among monitoring groups to reduce duplication of efforts and to coordinate fresh and marine monitoring programs.

Please browse the links at right for more information on Watershed Monitoring's programs, reports, and data. For further assistance, call us at (850) 245-8433.

Interactive Water Quality Report Cards

Status Network

Trend Network

Status and Trend Networks Brochure

Water Quality Data

Watershed Monitoring Sampling Manual

Sediment Guidelines

Reports, Documents, and Links


Last updated: March 29, 2017

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