Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2012NH174B

Participatory Water Quality Assessment Through the NH Lakes Lay Monitoring Program

Institute: New Hampshire
Year Established: 2012 Start Date: 2012-03-01 End Date: 2014-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $8,070 Total Non-Federal Funds: $37,343

Principal Investigators: Jeffrey Schloss

Abstract: The fresh waters of New Hampshire represent a valuable resource contributing to the State's economic base through recreation, tourism, real estate revenues and taxes. In addition some lakes and rivers serve as current or potential water supplies. Of particular concern in NH,(New England's fastest growing state) is the response of our waters to increasing non-point source pollutant loading due to watershed development and land use activities. Local citizens, lake/watershed associations and local decision-makers remain in dire need of additional information required for the intelligent management of our water resources on the local level. State agencies need to be better informed on water quality changes and trends. Limited financial resources do not allow for adequate monitoring of these waters by state or federal agency personnel. This project would partially support our 30+ year, long-term participatory monitoring program: the New Hampshire Lakes Lay Monitoring Program, that has been a partnership between UNH faculty, staff and students and citizen scientists throughout the state. Citizens timely monitoring through differing weather years at both shallow and deep lake and tributary sites offers the potential to cost-effectively assess lake water quality and document the lake response to the loadings due to increasing watershed development and use over time. Participants, in turn, gain valuable knowledge to better steward and manage their resources.