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What is IOWATER?
IOWATER is Iowa's citizen volunteer water monitoring program. IOWATER trains citizens to conduct basic water chemical, physical and biological measurements. We provide you the equipment and tools you need to start understanding and protecting Iowa's valuable water resources. Get involved now -- sign up for an IOWATER workshop near you!
The IOWATER Mission: To protect and improve Iowa's water quality by raising citizen awareness about Iowa's watersheds, supporting and encouraging the growth and networking of Iowa's volunteer water monitoring communities, and promoting water monitoring activities as a means of assessing and understanding Iowa's aquatic resources.
The first step in getting involved in IOWATER is becoming a trained, certified volunteer at Introductory Workshop. Introductory Workshops are generally held during the period from May through September. Intro Workshops are 8 hours in length and consist of some classroom time and outdoor, hand's on learning. Upon completion of the workshop, you will be a certified IOWATER Citizen Monitor. You'll receive all the materials you need to monitor Iowa's streams, lakes, and ponds at the workshop. Check out the Workshop section below to sign-up.
Click Here to Submit Data
After a volunteer becomes trained in the Introductory workshop, they can choose to also become trained in Biological Monitoring. During this 8 hour workshop, volunteers learn to collect, identify and count the number of aquatic critters (benthic invertebrates). Note: You must be a Certified IOWATER Volunteer to register for an IOWATER biological monitoring workshop.
After a volunteer becomes trained in the Introductory workshop, they can choose to also become trained in Bacteria Monitoring. During this 4 hour workshop, volunteers learn to collect water samples for bacteria, grow the bacteria on plates and count the number of E. coli bacteria. Note: You must be a Certified IOWATER Volunteer to register for an IOWATER advanced workshop.
Workshops are currently being scheduled for 2016. If you are interested in a workshop being held in your area, contact Mary Skopec (IOWATER Coordinator) at
Mary.Skopec@dnr.iowa.gov or 515-725-3434
Are you looking for a way to get involved with IOWATER monitoring and meet other volunteers in your area? If so, consider participating in an IOWATER snapshot sampling event. During a snapshot event, multiple sites thoughout a geographic area are sampled within a short period of time. And the best part about participating in snapshot sampling events is that you don’t have to be an IOWATER volunteer monitor – ANYONE can participate!
If you are organizing a river cleanup in 2015-16 and want to be included in a calendar of events, please email your event to
firstname.lastname@example.org with the event name, date, site, contact, email, comment/website. Upcoming events will be listed by month.