About Us

The Columbia Basin Water Quality Monitoring Project (CBWQ) began water quality monitoring in 2007 and has involved a coalition of 12 community-based groups (6 in the West Kootenay, 6 in the East Kootenay) using credible scientific protocols to monitor water quality in the Columbia Basin. In the eleven years of life, the partner groups in the CBWQ have shown that with proper support and training lay citizens can play a relevant role in monitoring the aquatic environment.


To empower local watershed groups to engage in water quality monitoring


To provide long-term water quality data of local watersheds in the Canadian Columbia Basin


  • To develop a model and monitor for long-term community based water quality monitoring
  • Establish access to the resulting water quality data through web technology
  • Provide water quality data to Basin residents in a user friendly format

The monitoring regime is based on Environment Canada’s Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) protocol (click here for more details).

Our Work

CBWQ also includes additional chemistry, temperature velocity and flow monitoring

Monitoring regime overview:

  • Each partner group monitors one site for three years
  • CABIN monitoring in September
  • Temperature loggers provide hourly readings throughout the year
  • Water chemistry monitoring from April to October (includes core and optional parameters)
  • Stream profiles and velocity measurements from April-October (except high water month)

Partner group responsibilities:

  • Endorse CBWQ Vision, Mission and Goals
  • Commit to three years monitoring on a wadeable stream
  • Commit to take CABIN training (3 online modules and a 2-day field certification course)
  • Carry out the CBWQ monitoring regime
  • Designate one representative and one alternate to be a member of the CBWQ Steering Committee
  • Participate in bi-monthly meetings
  • Enter data into Chemistry Master Sheet, CABIN database and download temperature data
  • Send compiled data to Project Coordinator in a timely manner
  • Engage in the interpretation of reporting of the data
  • Develop and deliver communication/outreach plans related to CBWQ data

CBWQ responsibilities include:

  • Covering costs associated with necessary training for up to 2 people per group-
  • Providing core monitoring equipment (not including chest waders, camera, GPS, First Aid kit, rope or re-bar)
  • Coordination and payment of chemistry lab analyses and macro-invertebrate taxonomy
  • Trouble-shooting on difficulties encountered by partners
  • Coordination of Steering Committee meetings
  • Compilation of data from project partners
  • Uploading data to the CBWQ database
  • Sharing CBWQ data with other organizations
  • Managing and administrating the CBWQ grants