Who Can Volunteer?
UWW is a free program and is open to volunteers of all ages. Volunteering is a fun way to learn more about water quality and help protect lakes and streams in Utah. Examples of potential volunteers include:
- Interested citizens
- Teachers and students
- Boaters, fishermen, and other outdoor enthusiasts
- Church / community groups
- Both rural and urban residents
- Retired professionals
If you have an interest in lakes or streams, would like to learn more about water quality, and are excited about getting outside to help monitor, sign up to be a volunteer! To get started, we have two monitoring programs to choose from. For beginners, we offer our Tier 1 monitoring program. With this program, you will learn monitoring basics and contribute your data to our online database. For retired professionals or others with a background in environmental monitoring, check out our Tier 2 monitoring program. With either of these programs, there is also an option to do harmful algal bloom (cyanobacteria) monitoring.
How can I become a volunteer?
There are 3 steps to becoming a volunteer:
1. Fill out the volunteer registration form.
2. Attend a workshop and become certified.
3. Work with the coordinator to choose a site to monitor.
Specific directions for these steps are located in the above tabs.
How much time does it take?
UWW is a flexible program that requires small monthly time commitment.
- About 30 minutes per site visit - not including travel time.
- A minimum commitment of monitoring a field site once a month for seven months out of the year (usually April to October).
- Volunteers may monitor more frequently if desired or needed to meet monitoring objectives.
Why should we monitor water quality?
Water is an essential natural resource that all people, animals, and plants need to live.
Utah has great need for water quality monitors. Even though this is a dry state, there are over 2,000 lakes and almost 15,000 miles of permanent streams. We need your help to effectively monitor these water bodies.
Volunteering with UWW:
Gain an in depth understanding of why water quality is important.
- Hands on experience recording water quality data to monitor conditions
- Help protect local lakes and streams
- Help state agencies manage water bodies by sharing data
UWW trains volunteers about watershed science and how to sample and measure water quality in lakes and streams. Volunteers use standardized methods and equipment to measure both qualitative visual assessments and quantitative measurements.
Water quality parameters include:
- Biological - Algae, Bacteria, Aquatic Macroinvertebrates, Plants
- Chemical - Dissolved Oxygen, Nutrients, pH
- Physical - Habitat, Temperature, Turbidity