Science in Action

River Network provides support to local groups seeking to bring the power of science into their efforts to advocate for healthy rivers. This includes helping groups to identify their science needs, design and implemen monitoring programs, and more generally understand the linkages between water levels and flows, ecosystem function, and ecological health. We provide mentoring, training programs, and peer-to-peer exchanges.

Here are some of the ways we can help:

Explore Collaborative Partnerships

  • Watershed organizations often do not have the capacity or specialized skills to satisfy all of their needs and look for outside help to accomplish projects. Creating partnerships allows organizations to accomplish tasks they are unable to do on their own. These partnerships can be between another watershed organization, a university, consultant, or agency and can be mutually beneficial.

Data to Action

Data is a powerful tool in helping us to understand the state of our waterways and communities, and – if put to action – it can also amplify our findings to create change. What is “Data to Action” exactly? River Network interprets it as: using data or other community generated information, to take action at the intersection of science and policy to advocate for change at the federal, state, and local levels to better protect rivers, streams, and communities. No matter how it’s defined, the importance is in the action. Whether it’s policy, regulations, community engagement, or education, data can be used in many ways to effect change. Community science, community led research, and advocacy can join forces to highlight gaps, raise issues, and engage local residents in finding creative avenues toward solutions. Learn more.

Water & Equity Mapping Tools

Environmental justice advocates have long sought to increase transparency related to permitting decisions, the cumulative impacts of pollution to the air, land, and water, and how demographics- particularly of race and class- interact with environmental factors. The federal government and some states have developed mapping tools to inform governmental agencies, private industry, and the public about the prevalence of different types of exposure to environmental pollution. These tools can advance equity if used in decision-making processes. Learn more.

Water Data Collaborative

River Network helped found and is a member of the Water Data Collaborative. The Collaborative serves as a hub of resources to help individuals and groups find and use some of the best practices and technologies to provide and synthesize data for greater impact. 

Stream Management Planning

Stream management plans (SMP) are data-driven assessments of river health that help communities prioritize how to protect or enhance environmental and recreational assets in their watershed. A well-developed SMP uses biological, hydrological, geomorphological and other data to assess the flows, water quality parameters, and other physical conditions that are needed to support collaboratively-identified environmental and/or recreational values. Learn more about our work to support the Stream Management Planning process at our joint site with the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

Water Security and Environmental Flows

Investigating flow issues involving aspects of hydrology, ecology, and policy? To help you get started and get your hands on resources that work, we have put together a science module featuring educational recordings and science resources for those looking to investigate the status and causes of water security issues in their watershed. Also – learn more about creating flow targets for rivers in the Colorado River Basin. 

Visit the Environmental Flows Science Module.
Flow Targets Workshop – Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference 
Colorado Stream Management Plan Flow Regime  

Find Science and Technical Resources

  • Synthesized best practices from newly available resources for monitoring and watershed science.
  • Cataloged method manuals, web portals, software, online trainings, apps and more!