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Executive Summary: Monitoring Strategy (2015-2020)

Lake St. Croix, Wisconsin.

This update to the Wisconsin Water Quality Monitoring Strategy presents DNR's vision to fulfill Wisconsin's Clean Water Act monitoring responsibilities and is integral to our "blueprint" for improving Wisconsin's monitoring, assessment, and reporting activities. This strategy supports our statewide commitment to achieving better water quality through monitoring that is structurally integrated with key assessment and management requirements across all water programs.

Monitoring Strategy Executive Summary [PDF]

Strategy Highlights

  • Updates Wisconsin's implementation of 10 Key Elements of a Comprehensive Monitoring and Assessment Strategy reflecting changes in funding emphasis, monitoring design, staff resources, and connectivity with assessment approach based on new science, data and information, modernized information and technology systems, and reorganized agency structure.

  • Adopts a "prescriptive" monitoring approach [Targeted Watershed Assessments (TWA) and Directed Lakes] to address integrated resource assessments by media type.

  • Reallocates funding from probabilistic monitoring and local competitive projects to prescribed monitoring which provides a strategic statewide perspective to address federal, state and "local" issues. This monitoring will consume nearly 50% of the allocable budget from federal and state sources.

  • Much greater emphasis on training, oversight, and follow up on staff procedures to ensure that monitoring study design, equipment, methods and analyses are completed and documented as planned in the database.

  • Significantly greater emphasis on linking monitoring, or data collection, with attainment decisions for Clean Water Act 305b/303d reporting and other science-based decisions for management actions.

  • Increased focus on effectiveness monitoring, e.g. evaluating progress toward water quality improvement

Monitoring Program Implementation Recommendations 2015-2020

  • Program Effectiveness Metrics:
    • Develop and evaluate measures to determine the effectiveness of our program activities and make modifications to improve that effectiveness.
  • Condition Information and Tools:
    • Develop and implement effective data collection, evaluation, and reporting tools so that we can communicate a consistent message regarding Wisconsin's water quality.
  • Quantitative Performance Tracking:
    • Develop systems and processes to measure and demonstrate quantitative improvements in and the maintenance of water quality, monitoring and smart collection design to achieve these goals (from Bureau Strategic Plan).
  • Produce and Share Data with Citizens and Partners:
    • Improve and demonstrate success with intra-agency, inter-agency, and stakeholder coordination of programs and data sharing.
  • Enhanced Quality Assurance and Control Procedures:
    • Identify, document, and implement accurate monitoring and assessment procedures.
  • Resource Condition Sharing:
    • Publish the results of monitoring in easily accessible online reports for the public.
  • Timely, Efficient and Science Driven Federal Reporting:
    • Meet federal reporting needs in designing and monitoring program that specifically addresses federal requirements.
  • Professional, Intuitive Data Systems:
    • Emphasis on IT system maintenance and upgrades for monitoring and assessment program protocols results (WisCALM) and monitoring strategy (2015-2020) compliance.
  • Resource Inventory, Planning and Management:
    • Coordinate a statewide framework with high quality, consistent, and scientifically defensible methods to improve the monitoring, assessment, reporting, implementation and most importantly, the condition, of Wisconsin's water. This framework is part of the state's continuous planning process (CPP) Plan.
Last revised: Tuesday May 30 2017