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Learn More About Continuous Nitrate Monitoring Across the Nation

USGS and its partners continue to explore the many uses of continuous nitrate monitoring in our water resources.  Currently, USGS and its partners monitor nitrate continuously at nearly 80 locations.  Continuous monitoring for nitrate concentrations allows for observations at a high temporal frequency, which are stored and transmitted to the USGS National Water Information System via satellite telemetry (uploaded every 1-4 hours) and available on the WaterQualityWatch website. Data can be displayed in tables, graphs, and maps and are retrievable in common spreadsheet formats.  Recent advancements in commercially available in-situ sensors, data platforms, and new techniques for data analysis now provide an opportunity to monitor in real time, capturing the variability, such as in seasonal runoff, changes in precipitation intensity, and natural disturbances (such as fire) that can affect the storage, production, and transport of nitrogen in watersheds.  USGS continues to work with scientists and managers from universities, government agencies, and the private sector to develop standards and applications for optical sensors, and improve handling, storing, and analyzing the continuous data they produce.
Read more about the many examples across the Nation and relevance to drinking water supplies, wastewater, land-management practices, and tracking nitrogen loads to key estuaries:  http://water.usgs.gov/coop/features/real-time.nitrate.summary.pdf .