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WVWA's water monitoring station at the Four Mills

Monitoring & Assessment

The purpose of the WVWA Stream Monitoring & Assessment Program (Stream MAP) is to measure and communicate water quality trends, and assess habitat conditions and biological communities within the Wissahickon Creek Watershed as indicators of ecosystem health. These trends in data can be used to inform and improve watershed-based strategic planning and resource management decisions.  The objectives are to:

  • monitor and report data for water quality, habitat values and aquatic life that can be used as a 'report card' to assess ecosystem "health" of the Wissahickon Creek

  • compile and present the resulting trends in chart, graphs and studies that are easily illustrated and understood by stakeholders including WVWA members, the general public, and those who will make decisions affecting the watershed, such as municipal and county officials

  • coordinate with other organizations to share and take advantage of related data collection efforts

Based on these objectives, the following questions are addressed by Stream MAP on an ongoing basis.

  • How do water quality characteristics, habitat conditions and biological communities differ among WVWA sampling stations with respect to location within the watershed?

  • How do water quality characteristics, habitat conditions and biological communities at fixed WVWA sampling stations change over time?

  • Based on the collected data, does WVWA have a measurable understanding of the manner in which water quality flucutates over time and does samples taken reflect these conditions?

  • What do the data and trends tell us about the ecological health of the Wissahickon Creek watershed and as compared with other neighboring watersheds?

  • What do the data and trends tell us about the nature and location of specific problems within the Wissahickon Creek watershed, sub-watersheds and tributaries?

  • How do these data and trends help identify and support opportunities for actions to improve ecological conditions within the Wissahickon Creek watershed?

Importantly, the data and trends for in-stream conditions can be directly related to land preservation and watershed protection efforts.  The connection between watershed protection, land preservation and measurable improvements in water quality and ecological health in the creek is crucial. It is the essence of WVWA’s Stream MAP efforts. A monitoring program that does this effectively is worth a great deal.  It means that WVWA members and prospective members know their support is making a difference.

For more information about WVWA's Stream MAP findings read WissahickonMapPoster.pdf.