The Water Reporter Team will help you set up your monitoring station locations. If you want to do it yourself, peak under the hood to see how we do it, or make updates, then keep reading! 

Stations Overview

Flow works based off of aggregating data for identified parameters at fixed monitoring stations. Each station appears as a point on an organization's Flow map. Even if no parameters or data are added to a station, the location will still appear. 

Anyone looking at or exploring the Flow map will start by looking at the Stations. When someone clicks on an individual station they will open up pop up windows with additional layers of information about that site. 

Last fun piece of information about stations - any scoring put into the system will be visible at the station level. So when you identify the colors for different grades or states of the location, those colors will be visible for each station point.


Input your Monitoring Stations

  • The easiest way to add your monitoring stations is to build yourself a CSV file with column names: station_id, station_name, latitude, and longitude. The column headers in your spreadsheet must exactly match the names listed above. Our system will read through your CSV file looking for these exact headings. So why not just copy and paste to avoid any headaches? 

Build your monitoring station template

  • Make sure your column names match those required by our system: station_id, station_name, latitude, and longitude. The column headers must exactly match the names listed above. Our system will read through your CSV file looking for these exact headings.For reference for this tutorial, here is our sample template

When you upload your file, you’ll see our processing and uploading screen. 

If all goes well in your upload, the green progress bar will move across and disappear. This indicates that your upload went through smoothly. If something stops the upload from working, an error message will appear in red.

Manage your stations

Once you have uploaded or manually added your monitoring stations, or data collection sites, you can change the name or location through Water Reporter.

Information collected for your stations

Your stations each have a page dedicated to share the following fields of information. Fields with an asterisk can be edited at any time:

  1. Score - calculated based on parameters and thresholds built for your monitoring program. If you score multiple parameters  then the system will aggregate and average the thresholds to calculate a station score.
  2. Station Visibility* If you want to remove a station from displaying on your maps but you still want to collect data for that station, uncheck the box and make the station private.
  3. ID - you shouldn’t need to change this, but if you feel like you really do, please email us at
  4. Name* If you change the station name, make sure to update your station_names file as well.
  5. Description* To add any descriptive information about a station, add it to the description field. Other administrators for your group will be able to review the description from their accounts.
  6. Latitude and Longitude* Update the coordinates by either manually changing them in the latitude and longitude fields, entering a new address, or moving the pinpoint on the map. The Hydrologic Unit Code and watershed will update automatically according to the coordinates identified for each station.
  7. Observers*  In a future Flow update we’ll be linking data collection to our existing mobile apps. When that goes live, you’ll be able to add or remove station observers directly from each station page. The observers will be able to add readings from the app, but they will not have any other editing privileges. To be eligible to be added as an observer, the individual will need to create a free, basic Water Reporter account.
  8. Monitoring Summary captures all basic analytics that help you manage your data upload workflow.
  9. Delete - If you want to remove a station rather than just removed from public viewing, you can do so at the bottom of each station page. Type DELETE into the field. This removes all associated data and is non-recoverable. 

Saving Changes

Use that handy green circled check mark to save any updates or changes that you’ve made to your monitoring site. Make sure to make the necessary updates to your template as well - station names and lat-longs must be the same in the data upload file and in the system in order for the system to process them!

Tips to be a Station expert:

  • Your station_id will be converted to unique identifiers that differentiate your locations from others in the system. Don’t alter your unique identifiers once they’ve been created unless there is some pressing need, and then - don’t do it without emailing first. If you do, your data source files won't upload.
  • Your station_name column will display the name that all map visitors see on your map, so choose concise names!
  • You can change a station location at any time through the dashboard STATIONS tab. Remember to update the coordinates in your station file as well. That being said, we recommend holding on to your station CSV file for future reference.
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