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Gathering, monitoring, and organizing water quality data is a major part of maintaining watershed health and develop successful watershed management programs. The tools below can help you gather data and conduct data analyses to characterize the condition of your watershed and its waterbodies, identify pollutant sources, and support quantification of the pollutant loads.

This site provides access to a variety of tools, models, references, and databases that have been rated as useful by our Watershed Central Wiki community. In fact, please join our wiki community so that you can rate the tools, add comments, and otherwise evaluate your use of the tool so that others may know which tools to apply in their watershed effort.


BASINS - A multi-purpose environmental analysis system that integrates a geographical information system (GIS), access to national geospatial, meteorologic, hydrologic, and water quality monitoring data, and state-of-the-art environmental assessment and modeling tools into one convenient package.

AVGWLF Exit EPA Disclaimer - Best Management Practices document is available.

Soil & Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) Exit EPA Disclaimer - SWAT is a river basin scale model developed to quantify the impact of land management practices in large, complex watersheds.

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Habitat Assessment Tools

Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM) Exit EPA Disclaimer - IFIM integrates concepts of water-supply planning, analytical hydraulic engineering models, and empirically derived habitat-versus-flow functions to address water-use and instream-flow issues and questions concerning life-stage-specific effects on selected species and the general well being of aquatic biological populations.

HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point planning) - Pillsbury roots Exit EPA Disclaimer - HACCP planning focuses attention on critical control points where non-target species can be removed. Documenting risks and methods used to remove non target species gives managers a strategic method to make consistent decisions based on identified risks. Planning builds a logical framework of information to weigh risks for species spread against management benefits.

Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) Software Exit EPA Disclaimer - Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) Software for Understanding Hydrologic Changes in Ecologically-Relevant Terms is a tool to assist in the collection and maintenance of daily hydrologic data.

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EPA STORET Database - The EPA STORET Database maintains two data management systems containing water quality information for the nation's waters: the Legacy Data Center (LDC), and STORET.

USGS Water Data for the Nation - Provides data on surface water, ground water and water quality for areas across the nation.

SI 101 - The Stressor Identification (SI) Process - The Stressor Identification (SI) Process - This course covers the principles of the stressor identification process, which is used when unknown causes of biological impairment are encountered and when it is necessary to convince a skeptical audience. Recommended for scientists, managers and others involved in 305(b) assessments, 303(d) listings, TMDLs or other water body investigations.

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