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Colorado Water Quality Monitoring Council webpage has been combined with Colorado Data Sharing Network (CDSN)

Please go to the CDSN webpage at for most recent updates.


Monitoring can be conducted for many purposes. Five major purposes are to:

  • characterize waters and identify changes or trends in water quality over time;
  • identify specific existing or emerging water quality problems;
  • gather information to design specific pollution prevention or remediation programs;
  • determine whether program goals -- such as compliance with regulations or implementation of effective pollution control actions -- are being met; and
  • respond to emergencies, such as spills and floods.

Some types of monitoring activities meet several of these purposes at once; others are specifically designed for one reason. CWQMC Volunteers are working on expanding our recommendations on how to develop long term monitoring plans. This website will be updated with recommendations and references pertinent to monitoring as possible.