Around the Water Cooler: World Water Monitoring Day

By Lahne Mattas-Curry

Scientists collect samples and monitor waterToday is World Water Monitoring Day. With heavy storms promised from New York to Virginia, drought across the southwest and wildfires burning across the northwest, our water quality and quantity continue to face great challenges. Since the Clean Water Act (which turns 40 this year) was signed into action, the U.S. EPA has set standards for our water quality and to limit pollution affecting our waterways. But today, pollutants might not be dumped right into our waterways, sometimes the effects are from indirect or non-point sources.

Luckily, EPA scientists and engineers and their partners have stayed ahead of the game and are always developing new ways to monitor our water in order to keep it safe.

For example, our Watershed Assessment, Tracking and Environmental Results tool (WATERS ←see what we did there?) links several different water quality databases together so that information can be more easily shared.

Another example includes the Stormwater Management Model (SWMM—we are clever with the acronyms!) which looks at a variety of scenarios like rainfall or snow accumulation and melting or interflow between groundwater and drainage systems. Since its inception, SWMM has been used in thousands of sewer and stormwater studies throughout the world.

To learn more about our tools and models, please click here.

About the Author: A regular “It All Starts with Science” blogger, Lahne Mattas-Curry works with EPA’s Safe and Sustainable Water Resources team.