A statement from President Peter Goodwin on UMCES’ commitment to diversity

Water Quality is Not Only Important, it’s Measurable

Water Quality is Not Only Important, it’s Measurable

September 1, 2020
A demonstration of water quality testing for the 2008 Chesapeake Bay Report Card release on the Patuxent Riverbank.
Filtering water samples for chlorophyll a, total suspended solids, total volatile solids, and suspended particulate matter. Filtered water can be used to measure dissolved nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus.

One way to answer that question is by using an environmental report card. Report cards are a great science communication tool for informing a variety of audiences about the status of water quality, among other factors, in a particular area. The water quality section of a report card contains several variables that contribute to water quality, such as: pH, dissolved oxygen, and electrical conductivity. At IAN, we refer to these measurable variables as “indicators.” Our report cards include a variety of indicators divided into relevant categories. Choosing these indicators is a long-term collaborative process that includes as many people as possible.

The cover of IAN's recently released Western Lake Erie 1st Report Card.