Environmental Monitoring

Environmental Monitoring
   



It is probably realistic to assume that every catchment has a "problem" and that the more modified the catchment the greater the problem. In most studies 20% urbanization results in significant changes to water and habitat quality. The question, in that context, is probably better defined as to whether you have a problem you can, or will, do something about. There is no substitute for inspecting the stream. "Good" water quality at the bottom of a catchment does not mean that there are no problems upstream; the stream may have treated the impact of upstream problems but if left undetected (and uncontrolled) an impact threshold may be crossed that is difficult to reverse.

If the stream is acting as a filter then a visual assessment may provide the simplest and most robust starting point. The physical characteristics of the stream, the riparian and aquatic vegetation, siltation, rubbish, offensive smells, are all indicators of situations worth further investigation. If these are mapped accurately then they can point to sources and, therefore, problem definition.


How do I design a good sampling program?


   
 

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