On Saturday, September 18, citizen scientists from Virginia to Hawaii will dip jars into rivers, creeks, lakes, ponds, and the ocean, and perform simple tests to measure the quality of their local waters. It’s all part of World Water Monitoring Day, an annual international event designed to raise awareness about the need to protect our water resources.
You can join in! It’s simple: Choose a waterway you’d like to test and register it on the World Water Monitoring Day site. While on the site, you can buy a test kit or find out how to make your own. The tests, which include checking the water’s clarity and acidity, are easy. Once you’ve got your data, be sure to report it on the site; the results that citizen scientists collect are published there each year.
And if you can’t make the event on Saturday, you can still participate–the project accepts reports until December 31. Who knows, you might decide to become a dedicated water monitor, like those valiant volunteers who collect data all year round for environmental agencies and researchers.
In case you do catch the water-monitoring bug, check the “oceans and water” category of our Project Finder for an effort near you. Here are some we’ve added in the last few months:
- Yuba River Water Quality Monitoring
- Jug Bay Macroinvertebrate Sampling
- Central Wisconsin Riverkeepers
- Florida LAKEWATCH
- Colorado River Watch Network
- Seward Park Water Chemistry Monitoring