An innovative approach currently is underway in Kansas to estimate and monitor constituent concentrations in streams. Continuous in-stream water-quality monitors are installed at selected U.S. Geological Survey stream-gaging stations to provide real-time measurement of specific conductance, pH, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and total chlorophyll. In addition, periodic water samples are collected manually and analyzed for nutrients, bacteria, and other constituents of concern. Regression equations then are developed from measurements made by the water-quality monitors and analytical results of manually collected samples. These regression equations are used to estimate nutrient, bacteria, and other constituent concentrations. Concentrations then are available to calculate loads and yields to further assess water quality in watersheds. The continuous and real-time nature of the data may be important when considering recreational use of a water body; developing and monitoring total maximum daily loads; adjusting water-treatment strategies; and determining high constituent concentrations in time to prevent adverse effects on fish or other aquatic life.

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