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Table 1

Assessment of current and future SHMAK capability for volunteer measurements versus state-of-environment (SoE) monitoring variables for rivers and streams in NZ

River SoE variablesaNotes on current status
Discharge Not measured currently in SHMAK, but should be assessed at least as High, Med, Low – or read staff gauge at nearby hydrometric site? 
Water quality variables
*Temperature Currently measured in SHMAK. 
Dissolved oxygen Could be measured with test kits. 
*Visual clarity SHMAK clarity tube currently used, clearer waters would be better measured in situ with black disc equipment (Figure 1). 
Ammoniacal nitrogen Difficult for professional laboratories at typical environmental concentrations. 
Nitrate–nitrite–nitrogen Amenable to volunteer measurement by colorimetry. 
Total nitrogen Difficult for volunteer measurement as requires chemical digestion. 
Dissolved reactive phosphorus Amenable to volunteer measurement by colorimetry but typical environmental concentrations are low so caution is advised. 
Total phosphorus Difficult for volunteer measurement as requires chemical digestion. 
E. coli bacteria Petrifilm method agrees well with professional measurements. 
Biomonitoring attributes
*Macroinvertebrates Extension of current SHMAK monitoring protocols to include kick net sampling would better align professional and volunteer methods. 
Macrophytes Assessment of macrophytes (total coverage and ‘clogginess’) would be useful for assessing stream restoration efforts. 
*Periphyton Categories of periphyton in SHMAK should be simplified and include observations of (potentially toxic) cyanobacteria. 
Physical habitat attributes 
*Habitat assessment Inclusion of a modified version of the SEV (Clapcott 2015) protocols for measuring various stream and habitat characteristics would better align professional and volunteer methods. 
River SoE variablesaNotes on current status
Discharge Not measured currently in SHMAK, but should be assessed at least as High, Med, Low – or read staff gauge at nearby hydrometric site? 
Water quality variables
*Temperature Currently measured in SHMAK. 
Dissolved oxygen Could be measured with test kits. 
*Visual clarity SHMAK clarity tube currently used, clearer waters would be better measured in situ with black disc equipment (Figure 1). 
Ammoniacal nitrogen Difficult for professional laboratories at typical environmental concentrations. 
Nitrate–nitrite–nitrogen Amenable to volunteer measurement by colorimetry. 
Total nitrogen Difficult for volunteer measurement as requires chemical digestion. 
Dissolved reactive phosphorus Amenable to volunteer measurement by colorimetry but typical environmental concentrations are low so caution is advised. 
Total phosphorus Difficult for volunteer measurement as requires chemical digestion. 
E. coli bacteria Petrifilm method agrees well with professional measurements. 
Biomonitoring attributes
*Macroinvertebrates Extension of current SHMAK monitoring protocols to include kick net sampling would better align professional and volunteer methods. 
Macrophytes Assessment of macrophytes (total coverage and ‘clogginess’) would be useful for assessing stream restoration efforts. 
*Periphyton Categories of periphyton in SHMAK should be simplified and include observations of (potentially toxic) cyanobacteria. 
Physical habitat attributes 
*Habitat assessment Inclusion of a modified version of the SEV (Clapcott 2015) protocols for measuring various stream and habitat characteristics would better align professional and volunteer methods. 

Variables currently measured in SHMAK indicated with an asterisk.

a‘Supporting’ water quality variables in river SoE monitoring in NZ include: conductivity, pH, turbidity, total suspended solids (TSS), and coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM).

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