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Click here to view an informational slide show on the Methods Board

The Methods Board is a partnership of water-quality experts from federal agencies, states, tribes, municipalities, industry, and private organizations. 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.

Each year, government agencies (local, State, Tribal, and Federal), industry, academic researchers, and a wide variety of private organizations in the United States devote enormous amounts of time and several billion dollars to the monitoring, protection, and restoration of water resources and watersheds. This work includes:

• monitoring the status and trends in water quality,
• identifying and ranking existing and emerging problems,
• designing and implementing resource-management programs, and
• determining compliance with regulatory programs.

The information gathered through these activities is certainly useful to the data collectors themselves. However, critical differences in project design, methods, data analysis, and data management have often made it difficult for monitoring information to be shared by other potential data users.

Accurate, cost-effective, and efficient assessment of the nation's water resources-within and among watersheds- requires that monitoring entities plan and work collaboratively and strive for comparability in methods and data management. The design and implementation of assessment and management programs should be a cooperative product of the various monitoring agencies and organizations active in any given watershed.

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Last Update: September 14, 2004