Red River Watershed Water Quality Reporting Handbook

The original objective of this handbook is to report/explain the procedures used and products developed from the Red River Watershed Assessment Protocol Project. This document was also created to provide guidance to water quality staff from the Red Lake Watershed District and other groups and agencies conducting water quality monitoring programs. The information and methods contained in this document were pulled together from a large number of sources in order to provide a very robust methods document. It serves as a methods handbook for water monitoring project development, water quality data collection, and data management. This document helps ensure continuity in data analysis, even throughout changes in personnel. Although it is, at times, focused on the Red Lake Watershed District and the Minnesota side of the Red River Basin, it is intended to also be useful to other agencies collecting water quality data. This will be a living document. Changes in methodology, newly developed data analysis methods, or any methods overlooked by this document will be included in future editions. Hopefully, the time spent creating this handbook will help save time in the future and prove to be an efficient resource for its users.

The purpose of the Red River Watershed Assessment Protocol Project was to establish procedures for developing water quality reports, field and lab standard operating procedures, quality assurance project plans, and statistical analysis techniques for the Red River Basin , providing needed coordination as identified in county water plans. The project was funded by a Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources Challenge Grant. There are many organizations that are monitoring water quality within the Red River Basin . However, until recently, the sharing of data among agencies was limited. The Red River Watershed Assessment Protocol project is meant to help agencies take a step in the right direction towards better coordination of monitoring efforts and comparability of data. This project recommends the use of standard methods by all these agencies so that data is comparable due to similar collection and analysis methods. The coordination of data collection efforts among agencies will lead to less duplication of sampling efforts, and greater number of sites that will be monitored across the RLWD by one agency or another. Other products of the Red River Watershed Assessment Protocol Project include the RLWD website and water quality database, Standard Operating Procedures for Water Quality Monitoring in the Red River Valley, Statistical Methods for Analyzing Censored Water Quality Data Sets, 2004 Red Lake Watershed District Water Quality Report, River Watch Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP), and the RLWD QAPP.

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