Aquatic Sensor Workgroup

Sensors designed for long-term field deployments -- along with advanced instrumentation technologies and the availability of vast streams of data at costs well below those provided by manual collection of water quality data -- have spurred an ever-increasing interest in the use of sensors, both attended and unattended, by the water-quality monitoring community.  While investments in new technologies often result in improved information and reduced costs, there is a growing need to provide quality assurance tools to those who collect the data so they are confident in using and sharing their results.

The Methods and Data Comparability Board has embarked on a project to help users of water-quality sensors collect well-documented data of known quality.  The Aquatic Sensor Workgroup is a collaboration of experts from government, academia, and industry working to produce tools that will be of value to sensors users at all levels, from local watershed-level groups to national programs.  Initial efforts will cover discrete sampling and continuous monitoring in fresh, brackish, and saltwater environments for both compliance and non-compliance applications for sensors for dissolved oxygen, conductivity, temperature, pH, turbidity, depth, and oxidation-reduction potential.

The Methods and Data Comparability Board and the National Water Quality Monitoring Council were created in 1997, as subgroups of the Advisory Committee on Water Information (ACWI), which is formally chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

The Methods and Data Comparability Board is a partnership of water-quality experts from federal agencies, states, municipalities, industry, and private organizations who share a commitment to developing water-quality monitoring approaches that facilitate collaboration and comparability amongst all data-gathering organizations. The Board develops products that enhance our ability to achieve real environmental gains while making the best use of the limited resources available for water-quality monitoring.


Dan Sullivan, USGS Co-Chair
Wisconsin Water Science Center
(608) 821-3869

Steve Wendelken, EPA Co-Chair