LANGLEY, Oklahoma -- The Grand River Dam Authority is using new tools to gather data about the water in Grand Lake and Lake Hudson.
They're called profilers. They're mounted on small pontoons and operated by solar power. Each profiler gathers information at three-foot intervals, all the way to the bottom of the water.
GRDA plans to gather an immense amount of data, according to a news release.
GRDA Ecosystems Management Superintendent Dr. Darrell Townsend says the data will be valuable for years to come. "These profilers will help us to begin a long-term data set. It's information we need in order to address water quality issues in the future."
GRDA plans to link the floating profiler at Pensacola Dam to its website. Anyone interested in dissolved oxygen levels, pH, water temperature, blue green algae conditions (as needed), and other water quality parameters will eventually be able to find what they need at grda.com.
"We feel this is something the public would be interested in as well, so we do hope to make it available on our website," said Townsend. "We also plan to have it displayed on a monitor outside of our water laboratory here in the Eco Center."
Eventually that display monitor – located just outside the entrance to the water laboratory – will also be able to display real-time images from laboratory microscopes, added Townsend.
GRDA owns the profiling equipment, but has contracted with the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) to provide the maintenance.
"Since our department was established in 2004, we have worked to build strong partnerships with agencies like OWRB, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and the United States Army Corps of Engineers," said Townsend. "Shared expertise and experiences are as valuable as the data we are collecting."
According to Townsend, the overall goal of the new profilers, and the working relationships with other resource agencies, is simply to meet one of the primary missions of GRDA.
"GRDA was established to be a conservation and reclamation district for the waters of Grand River," said Townsend, "and these tools and this data will help us to continue with that role."