Raton Basin
Science Based Protecting Watersheds

The Project Goal is to:

Gather water quality data and to ensure surface water quality in the Apishapa and Purgatoire watersheds meet the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) standards for aquatic life, agricultural, and other life-sustaining uses.

“The Apishapa Watershed Monitoring Project’s data continues to benefit landowners, like us, that hold irrigation rights.  Since 2008, we have been able to access near real-time readings about our river’s water quality and flow by visiting:  www.ApishapaWatershed.org.  It’s reassuring to know I can check on our water quality and flow 24/7.  In addition, the Norwest Corporation holds talks to explain the benefits of the water monitoring process to landowners and conducts tours of the water monitoring sites,” said Karen Salpich, Apishapa landowner.

Apishapa Watershed Monitoring Project:

  • Three gauging stations
  • Gathers data on continuous water level, temperature and salinity including specific conductance (SC), total dissolved solids, and calculated flow
  • Calculated sodium absorption rate (SAR) from the flow and SC (equation derived from the bi-weekly water samples that are sent to the lab, the bi-weekly in-stream flow measurements, and the Aqua Troll SC measurements)
  • Data downloaded every two weeks
  • Water quality grab samples taken every two weeks at each monitoring station
  • Downloaded data summarized in charts and tables on the Apishapa Watershed website:  www.ApishapaWatershed.org.

Purgatoire Watershed Monitoring Project:

  • Nine gauging stations gather data in near real-time (about every 15 sec.) with data transmitted by continuous satellite feed
  • Data gathered includes flow, SC, temperature, pH and chloride levels
  • Twenty-five monthly water quality grab sample sites gather data on 17 parameters including various metals
  • Data summarized in charts and tables on the Purgatoire Watershed website:  www.PurgatoireWatershed.org

Colorado Division of Water Resources – Water Division 2 Arkansas River Basin

 The More You Know…

The information gathered on these watershed monitoring projects is designed to give everyone a better understanding of the effects of coal bed methane (CBM) discharges on water quality in each of the watersheds.

Norwest Corporation and Tetra Tech, with funding and operational support from CBM operators designed, installed, maintain and monitor the gauging stations on the Apishapa and Purgatoire Rivers.  CBM operators specifically chose these companies because of their technical expertise and recognition as leaders in project design and third party interpretation and analysis.

The data gathered will be analyzed to provide a scientific basis to support permitting decisions and regulatory options.  The data collection will also identify water quality management solutions, such as potential areas where CBM water could be discharged, blended, treated or re-injected.

We encourage you to periodically review the ongoing data summaries on both websites listed below.

 Apishapa Watershed Monitoring Project


Purgatoire Watershed Monitoring Project