Volunteer Monitoring Program

Montana has a broad spectrum of citizen-based, volunteer water quality monitoring programs. Many volunteer monitoring (VM) programs are administered by watershed groups, conservation districts, local water quality protection districts, non-governmental organizations or other entities. Each group is driven by a unique set of monitoring objectives which may include watershed education for youth and adults, collection of baseline data to study water quality status and trends, or monitoring to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation practices and restoration projects. Volunteers collect a variety of chemical, physical and biological parameters to characterize water quality and associated habitat and flow conditions. DEQ has funding under the federal Clean Water Act Section 604b to fund the laboratory analysis of water quality samples collected through Volunteer Monitoring efforts. This funding is for projects designed to gather water quality data on nonpoint source water pollution. Funds will cover the cost of laboratory analysis of water and sediment chemistry samples, and sample shipping costs. Up to $3,000 is available per project. See the Call for Applications for more information.

Call for Volunteer Monitoring Lab Analysis Support Applications

Visit the Guidance Documents and References page for Call and Application Forms

Applications Due

DEQ SAP Review

Funding Allocated
March 31, 2017 April 14, 2017 Post April 14, 2017
  • Applications Due by 2 PM
  • Eligibility will be determined using checklist for eligibility (page 2 in Call for Applications)
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered
  • If all funds are not allocated, applications will be received and funded on a case by case basis
  • DEQ Review Committee will review draft SAPs
  • Comments and recommendations for changes will be distributed to applicants by April 14, 2017
  • Funding will be available once comments are sufficiently addressed and DEQ has accepted the awardee's SAP
  • Funding may be rescinded if SAP is not followed in sampling
  • Decision to award funds will be based on criteria as addressed in the application (page 3 in Call for Applications)


For more information on volunteer water quality monitoring in Montana, contact:

Katie Makarowski
DEQ Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment