B is for the Biggest
We don’t use superlatives lightly.
FreshWater Watch is a unique citizen science movement taking place on a scale never seen before. In fact, we believe it’s the biggest – and first – initiative of its kind.
From New York to New Delhi; Southampton to Sao Paulo, thousands of people like you are testing the rivers, streams and lakes near them to help us understand how to preserve the fresh water that we all depend on.
It’s not all about the big things. Small is important too.
Lots of environmental agencies are monitoring big rivers and lakes around the world, but by only focusing on these, we would fall foul of the ‘Saliency Error’: the tendency to think that one big thing is more important than lots of little things. This means we miss out on lots of information.
In the 2000’s, the Freshwater Habitats Trust (FHT) carried out a survey of small water bodies in the UK. They found that ponds – like those in our gardens and parks - support 70 per cent of freshwater plants and animals, and more endangered species than any other fresh water bodies. This surprising finding was important enough to find a place in the HM Government’s Natural Environment White Paper of 2011.
That’s why in Europe we’re working with FHT to monitor small water bodies. Our citizen scientists are testing water from these ponds, streams, ditches and canals and uploading their data online.
Over to you
You can be one of our superlative citizen scientists too. The best way to get involved is to sign up to FreshWater Watch with your company, college, volunteer group or research institution.
We’ll send you everything you need to become a fresh water scientist, and do your bit to protect this most critical resource for the future.
Already a Citizen Scientist Leader? Take part in the WaterBlitz. On World Water Day, 22 March, people over the world will collect FreshWater Watch data, give a presentation, or recruit a colleague as a new Citizen Science Leader. Check the WaterHub soon for more ideas on getting involved.
Next: C is for Crickets in your lunch box
A is for Alien Invasions; B is for the Biggest!; C is for Crickets in your lunchbox; D is for Data. Or is it datum?; E is for Eighty Litres of Water in an Orange; F is for Ferruginous Pochard; G is for Going, Going, Gone?; H is for Heroes; I is for Industrial Revolution; J is for Jigsaw Puzzles; K is for (Everything including the) Kitchen Sink; L is for Life itself; M is for Microbeads; N is for Namedropping