CBSM (Level 2)


The Water Action Volunteers Program involves citizen monitors in the process of collecting water quality data used by the DNR to assist in making management decisions. Goals of the program include collecting high quality data that can be used for management decisions, building relationships between DNR staff and citizen monitors, and assessing areas in need of additional monitoring, restoration and/or protection. Ultimately, volunteer participation in this project aids DNR staff by allowing for increased capabilities to monitor streams. Communities and the DNR can use this water quality information to make decisions that affect the management of streams throughout Wisconsin.


Data collected by Water Action Volunteers can be used by DNR staff as screening tools. The process of data collection helps Wisconsin citizenry enhance their understanding of data collection and in many cases, move to more sophisticated data collection work including biological and additional physical site data..

Study Design

The Level 2 stream monitoring sampling plan is consistent with statewide baseline monitoring guidelines laid out in the DNR’s Water Resources Monitoring Strategy for Wisconsin. • DNR or county staff recommends sites that could be useful to have monitored based on needs to acquire status or trends information, or other types of monitoring that is priority. • Volunteers are asked to monitor, at least, from May through September • Volunteers choose primary (P) and secondary (S) sampling dates in advance and note on their data sheets on which of those dates they monitored. • Volunteers are asked to sample on the primary date unless there are safety concerns about being at the stream site (e.g., tornado, lightning, dangerously high flows) or a family emergency. • The goal is to monitor at the same time each month, preferably 30 days apart from the last monitoring visit. • Volunteers are instructed to enter data by the end of each month. Parameters Measured: • Dissolved oxygen (concentration) • Dissolved oxygen (saturation) • Transparency • Temperature (instantaneous and continuous measurements) • pH.

Related Reports

Run Project Summary Report
View Umbrella-Projects
View Sub-Projects
View Related-Projects

Citizen Based Stream Monitoring
Regional or Statewide Coordination
Reports and Documents
METHOD DESC: Citizen Based Stream Monitoring with YSI DO Meter
Deb Deppeler for Chris Clayton to help establish procedures for the CBSM Data Manager position.
Activities & Recommendations
Citizen-Based Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.