A steady supply of clean, safe, usable water is essential to all life. Economic pursuits and human activities significantly influence the health of our shared watersheds. Point sources and nonpoint sources of pollution—such as industrial and municipal discharges, urban run-off, agricultural activities, and housekeeping practices—can contribute to the problem of degraded water quality downstream.
Protecting and ensuring the health of our streams and watersheds is everyone’s responsibility. It takes a collaborative network of dedicated and educated Hoosiers all working together to understand and raise awareness about water issues, prevent water pollution, and improve Indiana’s water quality. The Watershed Assessment and Planning Branch of IDEM’s Office of Water Quality works in partnership with state and local government agencies, health departments, soil and water conservation districts, farmers, watershed groups, businesses, industries, and Hoosier Riverwatch’s instructors and volunteer stream monitors.
Hoosier Riverwatch provides volunteer stream monitors with a unique opportunity to be engaged in watershed protection and enhancement efforts. Through stream monitoring, volunteers:
- Increase their personal connection with and appreciation for the natural world, especially the waterbodies they monitor.
- Produce water quality data needed to understand and protect our watersheds and aquatic resources.
- Become aware of water quality issues and aquatic resources and engaged in effective watershed stewardship, especially pollution prevention.
- Help to identify problem areas that need further investigation and reduce the risk of water quality degradation.
- Capture the excitement and attention of local communities and fellow citizens to water quality issues, thereby protecting drinking water quality and human health.
IDEM’s Office of Water Quality is pleased to support and manage Hoosier Riverwatch. This important program educates, trains, and equips citizens from all walks of life to be active, educated, and effective environmental stewards of their local streams. Once informed about the health of their local streams and rivers and the impacts they may be having on them, most individuals welcome the chance to make lifestyle changes and then watch to see improvements in the health of their local waterbodies. Hoosier Riverwatch is an essential component in the management and preservation of our water resources.