Conservation district evaluates additional monitoring website

Directors of the Elk County Conservation District are considering the purchase of a second water monitoring website database to coincide with the one currently used for the Elk County Monitoring Project.The Elk County Monitoring Project's website, powered by NexSens Technology, relays data from satellite telemetry systems installed within the streams and watersheds of Elk County.According to Watershed Specialist Kim Bonfardine, the current database is limited to its 11 satellite telemetry systems that are expected to be completely installed by the end of summer.District Manager Steve Putt said the second database developed by BandyWorks, based out of Petersburg, Va., could provide data from a host of other sources."This website/database would allow us to upload all of our historical data and new water data that is coming in and allow volunteers or anyone who is out water sampling on our behalf could log on and upload their data," Putt said. "It would be like a one-stop shop for all of the water monitoring efforts that have already occurred or are continuing to occur."Following a rejection of a grant request from the Elk County Community Foundation to purchase the website database at $35,000 or $500 per month to rent, Chairman Russ Braun said the District simply cannot afford it."Unfortunately we didn't get the grant so the project went unfunded and BandyWorks decided that this is probably a program that other districts across the state could also utilize," Putt said. "They decided to go ahead and continue this program so they could market it to anybody that is doing any type of water data collection. They basically finalized that whole process now and they gave us the option of instead of spending the large amount of money upfront to basically rent it from month to month."Pick up a copy of the Saturday, July 28, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.