Feb 28, 2008

Participation in World Water Monitoring Day Increased by 61% in 2007

A total of 46,117 people monitored sites worldwide

More than 46,000 people worldwide visited their local streams, rivers, lakes and other water bodies in celebration of World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD) in 2007, according to the program's Year in Review report recently released by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA).

WWMD is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies. The goal is to engage one million people in monitoring their local waterways by 2012.

Participants from Argentina to Zimbabwe tested their local waterways for four key water quality indicators: dissolved oxygen (DO), pH (acidity), temperature, and turbidity (clarity). 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.

A total of 46,117 people monitored sites worldwide, which represents a 61% increase over participation in 2006. Some participants acted as individuals while many took part with schools, universities, civic, environmental and faith-based groups. Data was reported from 43 countries--four more than the 39 logged in 2006. Sites in the United States accounted for approximately 63% of the 3,544 monitored worldwide. After the United States, Taiwan (444) and Spain (343) led global WWMD efforts in the number of sites monitored.

WWMD is officially observed each year on Sept. 18, marking the beginning of a month-long period of water quality monitoring that ends on Oct. 18. Due to the high volume of participants in 2007, the monitoring period was extended until Dec. 18. This date also served as the deadline for reporting data to the WWMD database for inclusion in the year-end report.

For a complete list of program partners, as well as more detailed statistics, please visit the World Water Monitoring Day 2007 Year in Review, which is available online at http://www.worldwatermonitoringday.org.