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Watershed Inventory

General Reference
Integrating Community Concerns
  • Stakeholder Involvement: See "Planning" section
Tier I: Desktop / Base Layers
  • Interactive Maps and Geospatial Downloading (IndianaMap):
    • o Through the IndianaMap the Indiana Geological Survey offers a suite of interactive mapping tools and data layers which allow users to create custom maps using a variety of geographic, geologic, environmental and demographic content. The maps can be viewed or printed at any scale using only a Web browser. Desktop GIS users may also connect to the map services directly and download the data for use with existing GIS applications.
  • Indiana Water Quality Atlas (IWQA):
    • The Indiana Water Quality Atlas (IWQA) is an interactive mapping application to facilitate access to a wide variety of geographically-referenced data through a common interface for watershed management, land use planning, and water quality analysis purposes. This application uses the latest freeware version of ArcGIS Explorer and has been customized to provide specific mapping needs for watershed management planning. IDEM water quality data may also be downloaded from this site.
  • GIS Links for Watershed Management Planning [DOC]:
    • Need GIS data to download into your desktop GIS software? Don’t have desktop software and want to use online mapping? Go to this page to see online sources of data.
  • U.S. EPA’s EnviroFacts Data Warehouse and U.S. EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO):
    • EnviroFacts is a database that is connected to state databases in many program areas, including permitted dischargers, drinking water facilities, brownfields, hazardous waste sites, grants awarded in area of interest, and compliance history. Although the site states that information from Indiana has been frozen since 2006, Indiana’s records are available in the database, aside from the occasional glitch. For more detailed information about a facility’s compliance history, check out U.S. EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) website. Note that the quarters out of compliance information may not be accurate, but the effluent charts are very useful.
Water Monitoring Data
  • Indiana’s 303(d) Impaired Waters List and Total Maximum Daily Load reports:
    • Indiana’s 303(d) Impaired Waters List contains a listing of waterbody segments that have been determined by the state as impaired. States are required to prepare Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) reports for all waterbodies on the 303(d) Impaired Waters List. These reports include data for the pollutant of concern and can provide the basis for a watershed management plan.
  • Indiana Water Monitoring Inventory:
    • The Water Monitoring Inventory is a Google based map of water monitoring stations across the state. It includes site name, parameters sampled and dates sampling has occurred or is occurring, as well as how to obtain the data collected. Inclusion on this site is voluntary, so although it is the most comprehensive clearinghouse of data, it may not include everything. You may also upload your data to this site.
  • Indiana Water Quality Atlas (IWQA):
    • The Indiana Water Quality Atlas (IWQA) is an interactive mapping application to facilitate access to a wide variety of geographically-referenced data through a common interface for watershed management, land use planning, and water quality analysis purposes. This application uses the latest freeware version of ArcGIS Explorer and has been customized to provide specific mapping needs for watershed management planning. IDEM water quality data may also be downloaded from this site.
  • USGS Stream Gage Data (Flow):
    • Flow and stage data for streams that contain a USGS gage are available from this site. Bookmark this Web site to assist in calculating loads if you have not collected flow data during your sampling effort. This site even includes a tutorial to help you retrieve data and interpret the results.
Spatial Analysis
  • Geographic Information System (GIS) Tools for Watershed Management:
    • This Web site contains links to several Web-based GIS tools, including an online watershed delineation tool that calculates the watershed area draining to a point selected on an interactive map. Once you have delineated the watershed, you can use other tools on the Web site to estimate the impervious area, run hydrologic models such as L-THIA or download the data for use in a GIS program.
  • Google Maps and Google Earth:
    • Google Maps and Google Earth can give you the “bird’s eye view” of your watershed. From this vantage point, you can get a general picture of land use, potentially see sediment plumes, identify riparian buffers, and even see some structural practices. You can also use Google Maps to record and share information in a free, online format
Tier II: Field / Windshield Survey

Water Monitoring

General Reference
  • Monitoring Water in Indiana: Choices for Nonpoint Source and Other Watershed Projects (aka "The Purdue Handbook")
    • This project was commissioned by the IDEM Nonpoint Source Program to guide sponsors of Section 319 grants in how to conduct water quality monitoring. The handbook lays out required and supplemental parameters, possible monitoring objectives, references to how other Indiana agencies monitor water quality, and Indiana water quality standards or potential targets. Though not required for non-grantees, all watershed groups may find the guide helpful for answering their monitoring questions.


  • National Environmental Methods Index:
    • Want to know the different ways you can measure nitrogen? Not sure how you are going to collect biological information? Use this Web site maintained by the United States Geological Survey to decode those elusive methods and find out how professionals measure water quality parameters. There’s even an estimate of cost associated with each method.
  • USGS Water Resources:
    • Use this Web site to find USGS data and publications on your watershed, general surface water quality information, stream gage information, daily streamflow conditions and specific information for Indiana. This is a large site – take a look around and find out what is useful for you.
  • Various NRCS Handbooks:
    • Handbooks related to animal waste management, hydrology, nutrient management, nutrient credit trading, pest management, stream restoration, water management and water quality assessment are available at this site. Though the water quality assessment handbook is probably most pertinent for this stage of planning, poke around and don’t miss any of the good stuff in these handbooks!
  • Catalog of Monitoring Protocols Used by Indiana Agencies: :
    • This Web site has compiled monitoring protocols information for all of Indiana’s state and federal agencies into one convenient site. No access code is required to access the site, but the site cannot be edited without permission from Purdue University.
  • IDEM External Data Framework:
    • The external data framework describes IDEM Office of Water Quality (OWQ) policy regarding the agency use of external data, the guidelines for submitting data and the technical assistance necessary to facilitate greater collaboration between OWQ and external parties.
  • Indiana Water Quality Standards, Section 319 Guidance on Water Quality Targets, and U.S. EPA Water Quality Criteria Home Page:
    • Indiana’s water quality standards are outlined in Title 327 Indiana Administrative Code Article 2 (327 IAC 2). These rules govern water quality standards for surface waters in the non-Great Lakes basins of Indiana (Rule 1-6), Great Lakes basins (Rule 1.5), limited use and outstanding resource waters and ground water (Rule 11). IDEM has developed a listing of potential targets and references for watershed management plans. To view these targets, visit the "Section 319 Guidance on Water Quality Targets" page.
  • Hoosier Riverwatch Training Manual, Chapter 2 [PDF]:
    • Designing a water quality study is not a cookie cutter affair. Chapter two of this manual walks you through the questions you should answer in order to design an appropriate monitoring program.
Study Design
  • Extension Publications on Designing Your Monitoring Strategy:
    • One size does not fit all when it comes to monitoring. Check out the “Designing Your Monitoring Strategy” and “Monitoring Matrix” portion of this page for tips on what to think about when you are putting your program together.
  • Sampling Cost Table [PDF]:
    • Unfortunately, tight budgets have an influence on study design. Use this reference, put together by TetraTech, to help determine what parameters and protocols you can afford.
Quality Assurance
Data Collection
Analysis and Interpretation
  • U.S. EPA Handbook (Analyze Data to Characterize the Watershed and Pollutant Sources), Chapter 7 [PDF]:
    • This chapter provides information on how to analyze your data, including identifying locations and timing of impairments, as well as potential sources.
  • Section 319 Guidance Document on Water Quality Targets:
    • This document include a summary of water quality parameters that watershed groups are often concerned with, the associated Indiana Water Quality Standard (where applicable), and example targets and references for parameters for which standards currently do not exist.
  • Data2Maps (D2M):
    • Locally-led watershed projects need to be able to demonstrate what the water quality data of their local area is in order to attract support. Being able to show people where the problems are in the watershed is an important tool for building public support. D2M is a custom Excel application in which users can overlay their sampling data on static maps and do preliminary assessment and analyses. The outputs can be printed directly from D2M or pasted into other applications (e.g., Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word) for outreach and reporting materials.
  • Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (CALM):
    • This document outlines how IDEM makes decisions on the waters that it assesses. Use the document to gain insight into how to interpret your own data.
  • Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI) [PDF]:
    • This Ohio EPA document describes how to conduct a habitat assessment. A field data sheet [PDF] can also be found here.
  • Macroinvertebrate Index of Biotic Integrity (mIBI):
    • IDEM is currently developing a new protocol for the mIBI. The updated protocol will be posted when it becomes available. (Currently Unavailable)
  • Indiana Trophic State Index:
    • An index that scores water quality in Indiana lakes which was developed in 1972 after a modified BonHomme Index.
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