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Water: Water Quality Standards Academy

Basic Course: Supplemental Topics (Monitoring)

Monitoring and Assessment

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This module covers the role of monitoring and assessment in the implementation of clean water programs, including reporting on the condition of the Nation’s waters and meeting the fishable/swimmable goals of the Clean Water Act.

Water quality monitoring should be the scientific foundation for the implementation of Clean Water Act programs. Monitoring supports States/Tribes in developing and refining water quality standards, reporting on water quality conditions, listing impaired waters, issuing and enforcing discharge permits, managing nonpoint sources, protecting good quality waters, setting priorities for water quality management, tracking changes in water quality over time, and evaluating the effectiveness of restoration and protection actions. The Clean Water Act assumes monitoring is fundamental to all CWA programs, and makes an adequate State/Tribal water monitoring program a prerequisite for receiving Section 106 grants for administering water pollution control programs.

This module provides basic information on the following:

  • Why is an integrated monitoring program that includes different monitoring designs needed to support multiple clean water programs?
  • What are the critical elements of a monitoring and assessment program?
  • What resources are available?

At the end of the module is a brief quiz intended to touch on aspects of water quality monitoring and assessment. The topic is further examined in the classroom session of this module.

This module's main pages and brief quiz at the end take about 25 minutes to complete.

Disclaimer: This online course presentation and any associated links have been prepared by EPA staff for informational purposes only. Their sole purpose is to make available training online from recent Water Quality Standards Academy classroom courses. As such, this online course and any associated links are not binding on EPA or the public and have no legal effect. They do not constitute an EPA statute, regulation or other requirement and do not substitute for such authorities. In addition, the course and any associated links have not been reviewed or endorsed by EPA management. Thus, they are not intended or written as official statements of EPA’s scientific views, policies, guidance, or requirements and cannot be used or cited as evidence of EPA’s position on any matter.

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