Global water quality monitoring effort begins
To ensure that Americans and citizens around the globe have clean water for domestic, agricultural, commercial and recreational uses, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is partnering with Americas Clean Water Foundation and the International Water Association to urge people around the world to test the quality of their streams, lakes, wetlands, and coastal waters. The first World Water Monitoring Day will be held Oct. 18, 2003.
EPA Assistant Administrator for Water G. Tracy Mehan III, Roberta Savage, President of Americas Clean Water Foundation, and Andrew Speers, representing the International Water Association, London, England, held a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to announce the first World Water Monitoring Day and to talk about the importance of monitoring water quality by collecting and analyzing water samples and using adequate data to protect the worlds water resources.
"At this time we do not have sufficient information to provide a national answer to characterize the condition of waters and watersheds in the U.S.," said Mehan. "We risk flying blind if we arent able to get dramatic improvements in water quality monitoring and data to support wise management decisions."
Roberta Savage, President of Americas Clean Water Foundation said, "As the creator of National Water Monitoring Day, Americas Clean Water Foundation was delighted by the participation of more than 75,000 Americans in 2002. Now in 2003 we have the opportunity to work with the International Water Association, the US Environmental Protection Agency and other federal partners, state and interstate agencies, watershed organizations and individuals throughout the world to promote personal stewardship and individual responsibility for the integrity of our world water. Our goal is to involve people throughout the world in this annual event and establish a base line for evaluating water quality trends."
Andrew Speers, who represented the International Water Association, said, "World Water Monitoring Day is about raising awareness at the global level of the importance of water to us all and the quality of the environment in the local community. World Water Monitoring Day is a perfect example of thinking globally and acting locally."
Volunteers of all ages will perform four key tests to measure dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity/clarity and temperature. They can then enter their findings on the Web. Test kits may be ordered through Americas Clean Water Foundation at www.worldwatermonitoringday.org .
In 2002, the first National Water Monitoring Day was held to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act. More than 75,000 Americans participated in monitoring events and educational programs throughout the U.S. Additional information is available online at www.worldwatermonitoringday.org .