Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Water: Monitoring & Assessment

Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology–Toward a Compendium of Best Practices


CALM provides a framework for states and other jurisdictions to document how they collect and use water quality data and information for environmental decision making. The primary purposes of these data analyses are to determine the extent that all waters are attaining water quality standards, to identify waters that are impaired and need to be added to the 303(d) list, and to identify waters that can be removed from the list because they are attaining standards.

The CALM development process has been and will continue to be an iterative process. Its development has involved many different workgroups consisting of federal and state staff. A series of public meetings to receive the input of a variety of stakeholders was an important part of the process. This first edition is an evolving document and will be updated as additional chapters are completed and existing chapters revised. As you’re using this web-based document, please provide comments, case studies and examples where methods are working or need to be modified to work better.

Additional Reference Materials and Links

Aquatic Resource Monitoring -- provides information on the design and analysis of probability surveys for surface waters. Includes information on three levels: Introductory and Overview, Programmatic Details, and Technical how to's, also several examples and links to related web sites at www.epa.gov/nheerl/arm.

2002 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report Guidance

STORET– is a data management system and repository for chemical, biological and physical data used by states, territories, tribes, volunteer groups and federal agencies. Copies of the software are available free. Visit www.epa.gov/storet/ for more information.

EPA Policy and Guidance on the Data Quality Objectives Process, Quality Assurance Project Plans, Standard Operating Procedures, Sampling Design, Data Quality Assessment and other QA/QC procedures for environmental data collection is available at: www.epa.gov/quality/.

The Office of Science and Technology web site provides access to a wealth of information on water quality standards and water quality criteria at www.epa.gov/waterscience/.

Online bioassessment publications to download or order can be viewed at:

The National Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Work Group is to assist states and tribes in building capacity to implement and sustain wetland monitoring and assessment programs. For more information visit: www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/monitor/.

National Environmental Methods Index - the tool is a free, web-based online clearinghouse of environmental monitoring methods. The NEMI database contains chemical, micro-biological and radiochemical method summaries of lab and field protocols for regulatory and non-regulatory water quality analyses. It is searchable over the World Wide Web, providing up-to-date methods information through a standard Internet connection and browser. By visiting http://www.nemi.gov Exit EPA Disclaimer users can directly access current methods information. In the future, NEMI will be expanded to meet the needs of the monitoring community. For example, biological methods will be added to NEMI, along with additional field and laboratory methods of importance to the monitoring community.

CALM was developed after extensive discussion with a variety of stakeholders. For summaries of these meetings, visit:

For comments or questions on this material, please contact:

Susan Holdsworth
USEPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds
Assessment and Watershed Protection Division
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20460 (4503T)

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the Adobe PDF files on this page. See EPA's PDF page for more information about getting and using the free Acrobat Reader.


Jump to main content.