Welcome to FreshWater Watch

Here is your step-by-step guide to our citizen science programme on freshwater ecosystems. Before you take your first sample, make sure you have passed the research test.

FreshWater Watch Research

What do I need?

  • A FreshWater Watch kit - you can order this from your profile on the FreshWater Watch website

  • A water collection device, such as a plastic bottle, which you can bring from home

  • A smartphone with the FreshWater Watch App or paper data sheet - which you can download from your profile

  • A camera (if you don’t have a smartphone)

  • A pencil and some way of checking the time.

Your FreshWater Watch kit will include instructions for how to do the research activities. Watch the research training video again if you are not clear on anything and refer to our Health and Safety Manual.

Who can do FreshWater Watch?

The kit you will order belongs to you and you are trained to take the measurements. But you could also take colleagues, family and friends with you on your measurement days to help, or they can sign up to get their own kit.

IMPORTANT: Always make sure you have someone to go with you and that you have permission to access the water body, whether that is from the landowner or the manager of the site. You can download a letter to request landowner permission from your profile page on the FreshWater Watch website if needed.

Where should I go?

You can carry out FreshWater Watch at locations near your home or work, or anywhere that is easiest for you. You can choose to monitor one water body or many.

We need information from different kinds of water bodies; you can choose to monitor streams, small rivers, ponds, lakes, ditches, canals and wetlands. Avoid choosing water bodies if you know they are already being monitored by a central agency.

See if you can select water bodies with different kinds of surroundings (e.g. a residential and an industrial area) or a variety of water bodies (e.g. a stream and a pond) so you are studying the aquatic ecosystems that are most interesting and convenient for you.

When should I do FreshWater Watch?

Ideally you will do FreshWater Watch at least four times per year, visiting your water bodies roughly once every three months. Some water bodies may vary hugely with the seasons. Feel free to go more often than that if you wish!

Any questions?

Please get in touch with us at water@earthwatch.org.uk

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