colorado water quality data

Colorado Water Quality Monitoring Council (CWQMC).

Bringing water quality home to all Coloradoans...

The CWQMC is dedicated to facilitating water quality monitoring and seamless data sharing among all interested parties to accurately characterize water quality in Colorado. The Colorado Data Sharing Network is one of the primary projects of the CWQMC. One of our main goals is facilitating the distribution of water quality data so we continuously strive to keep access to the CDSN as inexpensive as possible. We understand that many people are either collecting water quality data or examining data collected by others. Our goal is to make that process as easy as possible. If you are interested in assisting us in our goals or have suggestions as to how we can do it better, please contact us!



To have scientifically sound and accessible data and facilitate an open and informed discussion about water quality in Colorado.


To facilitate water quality monitoring and seamless data sharing among all interested parties to characterize water quality in Colorado.


• Inclusion • Collaboration • Integration • Innovation • Participation • Transparent Communication


Thank you to our generous supporters who donated to support the CDSN: SP CURE, Metro Wastewater Reclamation District, CDOT, Thornton Water, Centennial Water & Sanitation District, Northern Colorado Water Conservation District, South Adams County Water & Sanitation District, AF CURE, Aurora Water, Summit Water Quality Committee, City of Fort Collins Utilities, Clear Creek Watershed Foundation, and many others!


Board President - Bob McDade
Vice-President - Phil Russell
Secretary - Valerie Stanson
Fiscal Agent (Colorado Watershed Assembly) - Casey Davenhill


Technical Outreach - Jordan Parman

Colorado Water Quality Monitoring Council Projects and Services:

Mentoring Program
The CWQMC is dedicated to facilitating water quality monitoring and seamless data sharing among all interested parties to accurately characterize water quality in Colorado. CWQMC's mentoring program assists the needs of the monitoring community. Please contact us to be connected with a mentor.
Watershed Planning and Data Literacy Workshops
Our partnership with Colorado Watershed Assembly (CWA), One Water Solutions Institute, and ElephantFish, allows us to assist watershed groups and communities in a specific basin to compile current and legacy water data and to better plan for future monitoring efforts. We will help you in planning and facilitating a workshop with all possible data collectors in your basin or watershed to share concerns relating to water quality in your area, identifying what data currently exists, examining data collection and visualization tools available to illustrate water issues, and learning about efforts that could be made to accomplish watershed goals. A great time to host a Data Literacy workshop is in advance of the CDPHE triennial data review for a basin. Please contact us to plan a workshop or presentation in your watershed or basin.
Water Quality Monitoring
The CWQMC is a statewide resource for all regarding water quality monitoring in the state. Please visit our Monitoring Best Practices tab. CWQMC works with watershed groups to provide mentoring or assistance on developing custom monitoring plans and uploading current and legacy data into the CDSN. The CDSN is also a great resource for educators and teachers all over Colorado because it provides real-world information for lessons. Many teachers monitor the environmental quality of a local waterbody or stream measuring field parameters, sampling water quality, or sampling macroinvertebrates through the Colorado River Watch program or independently. If you are interested in assisting with Monitoring a local stream and submitting data to the CDSN, please contact us to see how you can share and analyze your school's data using CDSN. We recommend checking out becoming a Colorado River Watch Volunteer. Colorado River Watch makes their data available to the public via an annual spring data upload to the CDSN.
The CWQMC actively participated during the collaborative development of nutrient monitoring plans for the implementation of the Colorado Water Quality Control Division ("division" or "WQCD") Regulation# 85, as passed in 2012, along with the Colorado Monitoring Framework (CMF) and WQCD stakeholders. WQCD allows CDSN data partners uploading Regulation 85 data into CDSN to submit their Regulation 85 data directly through CDSN without having to use the division's upload process. You must notify CDSN that you wish us to package and submit your data by February 15 and have your data uploaded into CDSN by April 1, of each year. CDSN can submit your data with advance notice, whether you self-upload your data or have CDSN upload it for you. Please see the CDSN Regulation 85 Data Call page for details. CWQMC continues to actively collaborate and outreach information about resources and best practices to entities required to conduct monitoring by Regulation 85.
Both the CWQMC and the Colorado Monitoring Framework recommend establishing a comprehensive sampling plan that includes a variety of compounds, even though Regulation 85 may only require monthly monitoring of a brief list of parameters at a few monitoring sites. DO, pH, and chlorophyll A have all been related to nutrient concentrations and can also be affected by things like temperature and turbidity. Having a comprehensive picture of water quality that is both spatially and temporally diverse may allow for comprehensive models to be developed to expertly discuss and solve water quality problems on a site-specific basis. Please contact CWQMC if we can offer assistance for developing a comprehensive monitoring program.

Monitoring Best Practices