Many groups and agencies in Indiana are passionate about or share responsibility for monitoring water quality throughout the state. However, it can be difficult to know if a duplication of effort is occurring, without a good way to share information about who is monitoring what and where. Data users also found that it was difficult to track down all of the data associated with any particular system. To solve these problems, water quality professionals in Indiana have taken a multi-pronged approach.
The Indiana Water Monitoring Council was formed in 2008 as a coalition of agencies, universities, individuals and others working toward collaboration of water quality monitoring in the state of Indiana. Its mission is to increase the use and value of water monitoring information statewide by maximizing resources through improved communication, coordination, data sharing, and collaboration. This group also provides technical resources for those collecting water quality data.
In addition to the Water Monitoring Council network, Purdue University has compiled a website dedicated to sharing information about water monitoring locations on Indiana streams, lakes and ground water. This Water Monitoring Inventory uses Google Maps to provide a visual representation of where water quality monitoring in Indiana is happening, who is doing it, parameters sampled, availability of the data, and how to get more information. The goal of this site is to increase collaborations and decrease duplication of monitoring efforts. While the inventory does not provide raw data or reports, you can use the site to gather contact information to obtain the raw data and to identify data gaps. Be aware that inclusion on this site is voluntary, so although it is the most comprehensive clearinghouse of statewide monitoring data, it may not include everything. You may also upload your data to this site.
A third resource for water monitors is the Catalogue of Monitoring Protocols Used by Indiana Agencies. This website provides information on the methodologies that statewide monitoring programs are using to collect their water quality data. Knowing the methodologies used will help you to determine whether data sets are comparable and may help you to determine which methods you should use to collect your data.