Growing complexity of water monitoring instrumentation leads to specialized solutions in respect to sensor integration across several measurement device suppliers. Despite efforts of standardization for data interfaces and protocols, problems regarding the combination of several devices to gain the complete picture in terms of water quality remain. This assessment, especially accomplished from the perspective of a catchment area, requires a transition from sole use of data collectors toward an implementation of intelligent measurement networks. Several challenges and bottlenecks concerning distributed data collection are discussed starting with data acquisition up to the user-scope of utilizing data processing software. Finally, experiences using automated data inspection and export tools are discussed and a brief overview of expectable long-term data availability is given.