Water Watch

  • NOW ON THE WEB: In the Boulder Creek watershed c. 1898, from the BASIN Web site

    Louis Charles McClure photograph @ Denver Public Library, Western History Collection

Boulder, Colo., residents can now check on the health of their watershed by surfing the Web. The Boulder Area Sustainability Information Network (BASIN) Web site publishes water quality indicators and trends in the Boulder Creek watershed, which provides water for the city of Boulder. The site also includes snowpack information, an air-quality index, and information about household hazardous waste.

Mark McCaffrey, communications coordinator for BASIN, says industries are required to give environmental data to the federal government, but this information rarely reaches the general public. "The public ultimately needs to get in the loop," says McCaffrey, who hopes that the Web site will spur "focused community involvement" in protecting the local environment.

BASIN, originally funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, spread news of its existence through notices included with Boulder water bills. People have been taking notice: BASIN has been nominated for the $150,000 2001 Stockholm Water Prize.

See the BASIN Web site for yourself at bcn.boulder.co.us/basin, or contact Sheila Murphy, research analyst at the City of Boulder, 303/413-7381. For information on other environmental Web sites in the EPA's EMPACT network, go to www.epa.gov/empact.
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