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Water quality management consists of decisions about the environment; those decisions are usually based on data from monitoring programs. Such data are usually collected following a design which is governed by “bureaucratic risk,” that is, the perceived risk of ire from a superior. We propose the application of a systematic process called the Environmental Audit as a tool for guiding management decision making and for design of monitoring programs. Application of the Audit is shown to produce data which leads directly to real environmental information (in contrast to pure data). Such information is translated into management decisions which incorporate all elements of the broader definitions of environmental risk.
data management, Environmental Audit, environmental risk, monitoring, water quality management, water quality monitoring
Associate professor, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Research scientist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Construction Engineers Research Laboratory, Champaign, IL
Associate professor, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Champaign, IL