Monitoring Programs

Through a scientific approach, GCWIN works to monitor environmental health in Grand County. The information we collect is crucial to ensuring that we protect and improve water quality within the headwaters of the Colorado River.

Currently, GCWIN monitors 49 sites over five different monitoring programs. All programs are implemented with robust QA/QC measures and all collected data is made available through GCWIN's online database.

3 Lakes Clarity

Three Lake ClaritySince 2008, GCWIN has managed lake clarity monitoring in Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Reservoir. Field staff and volunteers monitor 18 sites on a weekly basis from ice-off to ice-on. The information gathered is made available to the public and is currently being used by Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District's Three Lakes Technical committee to develop a model that will help decision-makers improve Grand Lake clarity. For more information

Stream Temperature


Since 2005, GCWIN has monitored Grand County's streams and rivers for temperature. Currently, GCWIN has 32 active monitoring sites spread across the county. Stream temperature remains a concern particularly in the summer when high temperatures can hurt our valuable cold-water trout fisheries. The temperature monitoring program has provided information that has been used to set Colorado stream temperature standards, establish stream flows in the Grand County Stream Flow Management Plan and has been used to inform negotiations over proposed increases in diversion projects. For more information



Healthy Headwaters

Streamtemperature Launched in 2010, GCWIN is assessing eight sites along the Fraser and Colorado Rivers for overall river health. The program includes monthly sampling (from May to October) of physical water quality properties including turbidity, pH, conductivity, metal and suspended solids concentrations, nutrients and anions. GCWIN is also using biological indicators and has sampled all eight sites for Benthic Macroinvertebrates. For more information


West Slope Temperature and Specific Conductivity


GCWIN is collecting specific conductivity data at 11 sites to aid with modeling of the Three Lakes (Granby Reservoir, Shadow Mountain Reservoir & Grand Lake) For more information



National atmospheric Deposition Program

new overallGCWIN's newest monitoring program is a collaboration between Grand County, Northern Water, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Bureau of Reclamation. An all-volunteer team will collect weekly samples of wet atmosphere from equipment to be located near the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. NADP monitors particulate matter in the air before it enters the water bodies. For more information

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