Water Quality

Research helps us understand what the river needs and how we can help.

In order to effectively protect and repair, we must first understand. Our research allows us to do that.

The New River Conservancy takes on challenges and pursues opportunities from a place of research-informed expertise. Our dedicated team includes experts in their fields —  ecologists, biologists, river guides, engineers, policy experts, financial managers, project planners and fundraisers — and our Board is made up of passionate professionals who know and love the New River as we do. To round out our team of knowledgeable riverkeepers, we partner on a broad scale with individuals and organizations who share our mission. Our collective goals: to investigate the root causes of issues the New River is facing, to pool skills by planning projects collaboratively, to rely on data that helps us solve challenges in a preventative and sustainable way, and to protect, restore and improve the river, for all to enjoy.

Water quality expertise, made stronger by a deep sense of partnership.

Our team conducts research and gathers data to monitor important factors like water quality, using what we learn to inform next steps. As we gain an understanding about the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of the New River, we begin creating solutions to improve the health of the waterways, working with community members to develop tailored solutions for the communities and tributaries along the watershed. We also empower community members to advocate for the health of their river by training local volunteers to monitor water quality, use their data to inform projects and educate governmental agencies and other organizations who can influence policy.

Sharing data and resources for the greater cause.

The New River Conservancy belongs to a consortium of government entities that share information. We access an outstanding body of volunteers and thought partners while they leverage our data in their work to protect the environment, earning grants to support the collective effort.

How's my waterway?

Explore your water with How’s My Waterway. Enter a location to find out about water quality anywhere in the US. How’s My Waterway answers questions about the health of waters in supporting swimming, the eating of fish, drinking water protection and delivery, the health of aquatic communities, and the restoration and protection of waterways.


Water Watchers

New River Water Watchers (NRWW) relies on volunteers who are trained and re-certified annually to observe, collect, and report water quality data. Each volunteer is supplied with sampling kits and equipment for the collection of data throughout the year. NRWW operates under state approved quality control and assurance plans (also known as QAPPs, or Quality Assurance Project Plans) approved in both NC and VA. Water sample results are entered into the NRC’s database and submitted to state agencies. NRC hosts a website and in the near future will share the data publicly  with the monitored sites displayed on a map with the data available in a graph format. To date, NRWW has trained 100 volunteer monitors and collected data from 80 sites throughout the watershed.

Want to become a New River Water Watcher?

Each year we train and recertify volunteers throughout the watershed to observe, collect, record, and submit water quality data. In 2020, NRC trained 9 new monitors in Virginia.

Contact John Copeland

Don’t think you can get hands on?

Support the Water Watcher program by Adopting a Water Watcher.

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