People on six continents engaged in hands-on water quality testing at 6,000 sites
A total of 254,459 visits were made worldwide to local streams, rivers, lakes and other water bodies as part of the World Water Monitoring Challenge (WWMC) in 2012, according to the program’s Year in Review report released by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the Intl. Water Assn (IWA).
As an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world, WWMC engages citizens in basic monitoring of their local water bodies. Although some participants acted as individuals, many took part with schools, universities, civic, environmental and faith-based groups. Data was reported from 66 countries, including the United States with 2,971 monitored sites, followed by Spain (1,320), Romania (176) and Canada (175).
Participants from Albania to Zimbabwe tested their local waterways for four key water quality indicators: dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature and turbidity. Some groups also monitored for the presence of certain macroinvertebrates such as dragonflies, mayflies and scuds. Samples were taken in a range of settings—agricultural, commercial, residential and industrial—on six continents. Throughout 2012, the program distributed more than 12,000 WWMC monitoring kits worldwide.
WWMC grew out of the World Water Monitoring Day program in 2012. While an official “day” continues to be observed each year on Sept. 18, the broader “challenge” encourages people everywhere to test the quality of their waterways, share their findings and protect our most precious resource. Participants can monitor and report data to the WWMC database anytime from March 22 (World Water Day) until Dec. 31.