Citizen scientists are regular citizens with or without a scientific background who are trained in scientific data collection. They collect samples on a river or stream which are then sent into a laboratory in Denver where lab technicians analyze the samples and report the results to the state Water Quality Control Division. The River Watch program measures multiple metrics that determine water quality, such as dissolved oxygen, temperature, alkalinity, hardness, pH, and heavy metal concentration.
River Watch Testing
River Watch is a statewide, citizen scientist initiative designed to collect water quality data on rivers throughout Colorado, managed by employees at Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
In addition to being a great program for monitoring water quality, the program is used by many non-profits and schools around the state to educate students on issues surrounding water quality. In the Purgatoire Watershed, PWP collects samples on two creeks, Duling Creek on the Bar NI Ranch and Longs Canyon Creek at Trinidad Lake State Park. In the past, we have also sponsored teachers to attend River Watch training in the Fall, after which they were able to start programs and clubs at their school. PWP will continue to look for opportunities to grow and support the River Watch network in the Purgatoire Watershed.