- Watershed Inventory Workbook for Indiana [PDF]:
- This workbook is designed for groups who are beginning to develop watershed management plans and are seeking guidance to complete a watershed inventory.
- U.S. EPA Handbook, Chapter 5 (Gather Existing Data and Create a Watershed Inventory) [PDF] and Chapter 6 U.S. EPA Handbook (Identify Data Gaps and Collect Additional Data if Needed) [PDF]:
- These chapters contain information to assist in planning your inventory efforts. Read these chapters to find out what kind of data you need, where you can find it, and what to do if you need to collect new data.
- Chapters 3-4 Indiana Watershed Planning Guide:
- The Indiana Watershed Planning Guide provides watershed management planning information to Indiana’s watershed groups and communities. These chapters provide tips and resources for performing both water quality and land use investigations.
- U.S. EPA: How’s My Waterway:
- How's My Waterway was designed to provide the public with information about the condition of their local waters based on data that states, federal, tribal, local agencies and others have provided to U.S. EPA. Water quality information is displayed on 3 scales in How’s My Waterway: community, state and national. More recent or more detailed water information may exist that is not yet available through U.S. EPA databases or other sources.
Integrating Community Concerns
- Stakeholder Involvement: See "Planning" section
Tier I: Desktop / Base Layers
- Interactive Maps and Geospatial Downloading (IndianaMap):
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Michigan DEQ Stream Crossing Watershed Survey Procedure:
- This manual includes information on how to design a watershed survey, as well as field data sheets that can be used to record observations.
- Watershed Inventory Workbook for Indiana:
- This workbook provides a detailed instruction on what to look for as you are conducting a windshield survey in your watershed. It also includes blank worksheets for your use.
- Windshield Survey Forms:
- These are a few examples of windshield survey forms from local watershed groups and around the web that you can use or tailor to fit your specific windshield survey data collection needs.
- Urban Subwatershed Restoration Manual series field data sheets [PDF]:
- Various visual assessment field data sheets for urban settings, including outfalls, erosion, channel modification, trash and debris, as well as others. Some data sheets may be applicable to suburban watersheds as well. Note: There is no charge to download the materials, but you will need to create an account first.
- 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 – look around and find out what is useful for you.
- 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 [PDF] 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- U.S. EPA’s Volunteer Monitor’s Guide to Quality Assurance Project Plans [PDF]:
- General information regarding quality assurance project plans and monitoring programs across the nation. The guide also provides a good introduction to quality assurance, which determines the reliability of data.
- IDEM Nonpoint Source Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) Guidance:
- An introduction to the QAPP, including why you need one! The checklist, guidance and template are required for Section 319 grantees, but others will find it useful as well.
- Hoosier Riverwatch Volunteer Stream Monitoring Training:
- Hoosier Riverwatch training takes you through the basic theory and practice of taking stream samples and habitat measurements so that you can go back to your watershed and sample streams. During the training you will practice using the test kits and interpreting your results.
- U.S. EPA Rapid Bioassessment Protocols for Use in Streams and Wadable Rivers [PDF]:
- This handbook provides a method to measure habitat, periphyton (algae), benthic macroinvertebrates and fish. Appendices include sample field and laboratory data sheets, instructions for completing the data sheets, and examples of high quality and low-quality streams for each parameter. While data collection is relatively easy using these protocols, analysis requires a higher level of sophistication.
- Example Spreadsheets, Data Sheets, and Forms (Spreadsheet Template for Chemistry and Biological Samples [XLS], Field Data Sheet examples [PDF], Chain of Custody forms [DOC])
- These spreadsheets, forms, and data sheets can be used or tailored to help meet your water quality data collection and management needs. Additional examples are also available:
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 includes 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) [DOC]:
- 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.
- A Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting a Social Profile for Watershed Planning [PDF]:
- A social profile will tell you the demographics of your area, the attitudes of residents, economic vitality of the area, and land use trends in the watershed. Not only will the science illustrate what is physically happening in the watershed, but this profile will allow you to better understand why it is happening.
- Load Estimate / Modeling: See "Planning" Section
- Indicators: See "Evaluate" Section