Water Quality in the Valley
The Red River Watershed Management Board (RRWMB) has long been an active proponent of initiatives that promote an understanding of the importance of water quality.
In 1995, the Sand Hill Watershed District began working with the International Water Institute to gather and assess of water quality data. Today, thanks to the support provided by the RRWMB, the River Watch program has expanded to cover the entire Minnesota portion of the Red River Basin. The program engages local high school students to monitor water quality of their local river and streams. Students gather a variety of water quality data including dissolved oxygen, Ph, conductivity, and turbidity. Data are shared with other River Watch students and the public on the River Watch Website.
River Watch students also participate in the River Explorers program which provide opportunities to enjoy and explore local rivers from the seat of a kayak or canoe. Participants mix paddle sports with high-tech tools for exploration and documentation of local river conditions. The information gathered from the river trips can be used by local resource managers and the public as it provides a unique on-the-water perspective of local river conditions. It can also be used in the development of management strategies to protect and improve the watershed.
In addition to supporting the River Watch and River Explorers programs, the RRWMB supports the Prioritize, Target, and Measure Application (PTMApp). The PTMApp provides land and water managers with geospatial data and online tools to prioritize, target, and measure conservation practices on the landscape to achieve water quality objectives identified in local and state plans; and ensure that decisions to spend public funds are strategic, defensible and transparent.