We work with volunteer groups using FreshWater Watch. We encourage them to make a difference in their local environment. Through FreshWater Watch, communities test and monitor their local water bodies. This raises awareness of water health and nutrient pollution, often from agriculture, industry or waste facilities.
Volunteer groups have access to water testing kits and our online portal. The portal includes instructional videos, research tests and a webpage for their group.
We have been working with Bristol Avon Rivers Trust (BART) for several years. They use FreshWater Watch to run the Bristol Avon WaterBlitz. Each year the number of participants has grown, with over 500 people monitoring phosphate and nitrate in their local river last year. This project has been invaluable in engaging people with hidden water quality issues. With the data collected, we have been able to identify potential problem areas as well as looking for funding to address them.
Earthwatch partnered with WaterAid Nigeria to empower local residents to monitor water quality in Benue State, 'the food basket of Nigeria'. The water in Benue State is used for both human drinking water and by farmers to feed their crops. Using FreshWater Watch, residents found that the quality of the water was a concern. Children and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to unsafe water as it causes diarrhoea, a leading cause of death.
Together, Earthwatch and WaterAid have trained teachers, students and retirees as citizen scientists. They used the FreshWater Watch method to investigate water resources, paying close attention to signs of contamination from livestock and local activities. With this methodology, they noticed that water conditions had changed. WaterAid was then able to carry out more detailed laboratory testing of the samples to confirm the state of the water, leading to recommendations that would improve water management locally.
FreshWater Watch provides a platform and training for volunteer groups to run their own citizen science project, while still contributing to a global dataset. Earthwatch is a not-for-profit charity so we charge a subscription fee for this service. This fee allows us to make updates and provide support, making sure you have the best experience.
Volunteer groups may not have funds available so we are seeking funding to provide this service for free. If you would like to register your interest in this, please get in touch.
If you have funds available and would like to discuss setting up a new FreshWater Watch group, please contact us.