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​Protecting Kentucky Waterways


The Water Watch program is dedicated to helping you protect Kentucky's streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands. The program accomplishes its goals through community education initiatives, community leadership, community action and water quality monitoring projects.


Kentucky Water Watch basic stream monitoring includes biological and chemical monitoring as well as lake monitoring, video and photographic monitoring.

Training and field guides are available for groups wishing to become traditional water watchers who monitor for water pollution problems and environmental violations. A basic training program covering biological monitoring, visual assessment and an introduction into chemical testing, recording and reporting procedures is available to groups of interested individuals.

Volunteers are encouraged to conduct water clarity, phosphate, pH and sediment studies on Kentucky lakes. Sampling is conducted between May and October with a focus on priority lakes established in the Division of Waters 305(b) reports to Congress. Learn more about the Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program.


Anyone with adequate skills and with access to video equipment or a digital or 35mm camera can assist with visual surveys of local streams, lakes and wetlands. These surveys are designed to:

  • document unique natural areas and scenic spots along local water ways
  • document human impacts on streams, positive as well as negative
  • document the group's activities protecting local water resources
  • be used in community school-based and adult educational programs


White Heron on Lake

​For more information: 

 Joann.Palmer@ky.gov 502-782-7032