The Water Environment Federation (WEF) will join with the International Water Association (IWA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and other partnering organizations to celebrate World Water Monitoring Day 2008 on Thursday, Sept. 18 at Hains Point Park in Washington, D.C. This year’s program will feature a special hand-washing campaign to recognize the United Nations’ “International Year of Sanitation.”
World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD) is an international outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world. Held annually between September 18 and October 18, the program engages communities in monitoring the condition of local rivers, streams, estuaries and other water bodies. Worldwide participation is expected to surpass last year when more than 46,000 people tested water quality in 43 countries. The program coordinators, WEF and IWA, plan to expand participation to one million people in 100 countries by 2012.
Working in partnership with Procter & Gamble (the makers of Safeguard and Ivory), an estimated 12,000 water monitoring kits, including bars of biodegradable, environmentally-friendly soap and a hand-washing fact sheet, will be distributed to people in more than 50 countries as part of the “Wash Your Hands, Save a Life” campaign. This campaign provides an opportunity to offer a key message about basic hygiene to people around the world. Particularly in countries where adequate sanitation systems and hygiene knowledge are lacking, this message can save lives.
Following brief opening remarks and safety demonstration, a diverse group of attendees will conduct hands-on testing of both the Anacostia River and Potomac River for water quality indicators including dissolved oxygen, acidity, temperature and turbidity (clarity). Results are reported online, tabulated and presented in a year-end report that documents program participation. Event speakers include: Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) (invited); Benjamin Grumbles, assistant administrator for water, U.S. EPA (invited); WEF President Adam Zabinski; Ase Johannessen, development programme officer for IWA; Eddy Perez, senior sanitation specialist for World Bank D.C.; and Jerry Johnson, general manager of the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority.
In addition to WEF, IWA, EPA and USGS, participating organizations include PerkinElmer Instruments, Smithfield Foods, CH2M HILL, ITT Corp., U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Forest Service, Naturalist Audubon Society, Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital, Earth Day Network, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the National Environmental Education Foundation and many more.
For more information about WWMD 2008 and the latest event details, visit www.worldwatermonitoringday.com.