Overview and Outcomes
Working in close partnership with Friends of the Shenandoah River (FOSR) and The Downstream Project, Chesapeake Commons deployed the Water Window, an extension of our integrated infrastructure that allows users to explore nearly 300,000 readings of water quality data maintained by FOSR’s monitoring program. Founded in 1989 by a group of like-minded citizens and scientists, FOSR is a volunteer, non-profit, scientific organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of the Shenandoah River and its tributaries. Leveraging the power of the community, FOSR mobilizes it’s volunteer base to conduct sampling across 382 sites from Port Republic, VA, to Harper’s Ferry, WV twice per month. One of the major challenges our project team worked to address, consisted of providing FOSR staff with the applications necessary to manage, visualize, and share the results of their monitoring efforts with their volunteers and state agencies.
We started by gaining a firm understanding of the organization’s current data management procedures from collection of data at the source, to analysis, then QA checks, and finally dissemination to the public. Chesapeake Commons deployed its integrated suite of services for FOSR staff to easily maintain all aspects of the Water Window’s sites, readings, and parameters with a few clicks. Bringing a new monitoring site online takes seconds and the user is able to add location and a variety of other attributes such as drainage areas to the new site profile. Readings can be added in batches and the system will automatically ensure that all values are appropriately related to the correct monitoring sites.
The public facing application provides light mapping and charting capabilities, with the intent to enable state agencies and other organizations to download subsets of FOSR’s water quality monitoring enterprise. Users can browse to a sampling site from the map or use the search bar to explore a variety of related geographies in reference to where FOSR volunteers sample. Readings can be downloaded from a site or watershed scale and we also support the ability to build your own queries from the Data page.
Moving forward, Chesapeake Commons will to expand the application’s utility for other organizations to ultimately unify monitoring standards across the Bay’s volunteer programs and leverage these data to inform progress toward local total maximum daily load goals as well as local challenges facing water quality improvement.