WVU Institute Expands Monitoring to Ohio, Allegheny Rivers
The State Journal
26 October 2012
The West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia
University, with the help of the Colcom Foundation, is expanding
its successful Monongahela River water quality monitoring program
to include the upper Ohio and Allegheny rivers.
The Institute developed the Quality Useful Environmental Study
Teams program — known as QUEST — in 2009 response to growing
concern over total dissolved solids, or TDS, in the Monongahela
The newly expanded program is now called Three Rivers QUEST, or
The QUEST program supports participating watershed organizations
by providing access to monitoring equipment, chemical analysis of
water samples and the use of an innovative data management tool
that allows volunteers to enter their data via the Internet into a
secure, self-managed database.
All of the data is displayed on the program's interactive website,
where citizens, scientists, federal and state agencies and
industry have access to the water quality information and can
search by location or date.
A $700,000 grant from the Colcom Foundation, a Pittsburgh-based
private foundation dedicated to fostering a sustainable
environment, will allow for a geographic expansion of the program
to include the Allegheny and upper Ohio River basins.
The first step in expanding the program was identifying partners
to implement the monitoring program in the new geographical
regions. Through a Request for Proposals process, Wheeling Jesuit
University was selected to monitor the water quality of the upper
Ohio River areas from Pittsburgh, Pa. downstream to near
Parkersburg, W.Va. The monitoring will include several locations
on the main stem of the Ohio River as well as major tributaries in
West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Duquesne University in Pittsburgh will monitor the lower Allegheny
River and its key tributaries, while the Iron Furnace Chapter of
Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited will monitor the upper portions of
the Allegheny River and its tributaries.
The new program partners will be officially recognized and
welcomed to the QUEST team at the annual State Water Research
Conference, scheduled to take place next Tuesday and Wednesday,
Oct. 30 and 31, at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown.
The success of the QUEST program will be highlighted at this
year's event and presentations by Institute Director Paul
Ziemkiewicz and QUEST Program Manager Melissa O'Neal will cover
the topic in greater detail. To view the agenda and to register
for this year's event, visit http://www.wvwaterconference.org/2012.
The grant from the Colcom Foundation was made in conjunction with
"A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia's University."
The $750 million comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU
Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2015.