Monitoring Our Water Temperatures
Water temperature exerts a significant influence on aquatic systems, as plant and animal growth, reproduction and survival can be adversely affected when water temperature deviates from the preferred range. In addition, water management and hydrological modifications have the potential to affect water temperature both via warming or cooling. Reduced flow during warm periods can lead to high water temperature, whereas releases from the bottom of a reservoir can provide cold water to reduce river temperature during critical times.
Northern Water collects both real-time and continuous (data from these stations are manually downloaded) temperature data at approximately 45 locations in the Upper Colorado River Basin and in the South Platte River Basin, including 16 sites in the Poudre River. Temperature data collection is used to ensure protection of aquatic life, to assess compliance with state water quality standards, to support modeling efforts and permit compliance associated with new water projects. More than 10 million water temperature records have been compiled since 2007.Monitoring Program