The environmental audit. I. Concepts

David J. Schaeffer, Harold W. Kerster, James A. Perry, David K. Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Extensive criticism of water quality monitoring programs has developed as costs are compared with the benefits produced by monitoring efforts. Collecting water quality data while developing understanding of the functional character of the environment will improve water quality monitoring data utility in environmental management. The "environmental audit" characterizes the attributes of the natural environment (that is, attribute type, intensity, and variability), providing a theoretical as well as practical foundation for data interpretation. In the view proposed here, traditional monitoring means the very narrow activity of collecting samples and perhaps analyzing them and storing the analyses. In the environmental audit, these activities are a mechanism to systematically improve environmental monitoring and assessment by improving the design and implementation of environmental programs. Major reasons why existing programs fail to meet the needs of legislators, regulators, and conservationists are identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-197
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental management
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 1985


  • Environmental audit
  • Water quality data
  • Water quality monitoring
  • Water sampling

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