Database Lists Water Monitoring Methods
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has created a new standardized web searchable database of environmental methods for monitoring water quality.
The database will allow scientists and managers monitoring water quality to compare data collection methods at a glance and find the method that best meets their needs. The tool also allows monitoring data to be shared among different agencies and organizations that use different methods at different times.
“This will save a lot of time and effort for everyone, offering a single place on the Internet where people can search for information about suitable, well documented methods of monitoring,” said Dr. Robert Hirsch, USGS associate director for water. “This will help to ensure that future monitoring efforts use appropriate methods and it will add to everyone’s ability to share the results of their monitoring programs.”
The database was developed in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other partners in the federal, state and private sectors.
“NEMI represents a successful interagency effort that helps everyone (citizen groups, academics, industry, and government agencies) share information on the methods they use to do environmental monitoring,” Hirsch added.
Called NEMI – the National Environmental Methods Index, the tool is a free, web based online clearinghouse of environmental monitoring methods. The NEMI database contains chemical, micro-biological and radiochemical method summaries of lab and field protocols for regulatory and non-regulatory water quality analyses.
In the future, NEMI will be expanded to meet the needs of the monitoring community. For example, biological methods will be added to NEMI, along with additional field and laboratory methods of importance to the monitoring community.
NEMI provides a summary of the procedures and performance data needed to assess methods. Critical data on sensitivity, accuracy, precision, instrumentation, source and relative cost are produced as tabular reports, and full methods are linked to the summaries.
“The state regulators who manage the nation’s water quality programs are pleased to see the development of this database because we expect it to assist environmental professionals in selecting appropriate analytical methods for water quality investigations,” said Robbi Savage, executive director of the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators. “Searching NEMI produces a list of approved analytical methods with specific information that can save time and provide a higher level of accuracy in tracking regarding method number, source, detection limits and relative cost.”
Provided by theEnvironmental News Service.