Colorado River Watch

"Real people doing real science for a real purpose"

What is River Watch?

River Watch is a statewide volunteer water quality-monitoring program in cooperation with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Our mission is to work with voluntary stewards to monitor water quality and other indicators of watershed health and utilize this high quality data to educate citizens and inform decision makers about the condition of Colorado’s waters.

Find more information about Colorado River Watch at


MSI and Colorado River Watch are hosting an in-depth volunteer training on April 12th and 13th. Volunteers will learn monitoring methods, the ecological importance of the paramteters we test for, and how the data gets used.
The training is free of charge. Volunteers are asked to commit to six sampling events over the next year after the training.
This excellent training has very limited seats.
RSVP to ASAP to secure a spot...


We are firm believers in access to data. You can register for public access here. Once your account has been verified, you will be able to log in and River Watch data and generate reports from the database homepage.

All River Watch data is publicly available on the Colorado Data Sharing Network, National Water Quality Portal and is delivered to the Water Quality Control Division for their annual hearing data calls. Without access to data, we cannot craft sound policy and empower citizens to help protect what makes Colorado such a special place – its beautiful rivers and streams!

We test for:

o Alkalinity and Hardness

o Dissolved Oxygen

o Metals

o Nutrients (seasonally)

o Temperature and pH

o More


River Watch shares MSI's goals of providing quality data and education to empower policy makers and the public to make sound, science-based decisions. MSI monitors water quality every month, performing field tests and collecting samples to send into the River Watch lab for analysis. MSI also uses the River Watch methods as a teaching tool to get the public involved in Animas River water quality.


Learn how to perform water quality tests and take samples to send in for further analysis. Join our team of River Watchers to collectively monitor our station(s) monthly. You do not need to commit to monitoring every month. Being part of a team, you will have the opportunity to sign up for monitoring as you have availability. Teach our youth and interested members of the public what you have learned! We will invite school groups, prospective volunteers, and any other interested groups or individuals to join us at the river and learn about the health of our rivers and streams and threats to our water quality. SIGN UP! To join River Watch through Mountain Studies Institute (as a volunteer or teacher) or for more information, please contact Jeremy May.