FreshWater Watch is easy and can be carried out at locations near your home or work - ideally within or on the edge of an urban area.
A comparison of water body types would provide the most information. Therefore more than one water body could be studied, and a variety of types could be included. For example, research could be carried out at one pond, one stream and one ditch, or at one garden pond, one ‘natural’ pond and one small river, or any other combination that you can think of.
It is useful to be able to identify any seasonal changes in water quality, so you should visit each of the chosen water bodies four times per year, or once every three months. Feel free to go more often than that if you wish! Some water bodies may vary hugely with the seasons. Ideally you would carry out research at a permanent water body - one which contains water all year round. If you identify a water body which only contains water three months of the year it will be difficult to gain much data for FreshWater Watch.
You must also ensure that you have permission to access the water body, whether that be from the landowner, the manager of the site, or in some parts of the world, the government. You should also consider access to the site with respect to your own safety. You may need to consider both seasonal and other types of change which may alter the ease with which you can get to the water body - can you safely get to the water to carry out the testing? And finally, always remember to take someone with you when carrying out the research.
This information concerns FreshWater Watchers who have signed up through the WaterHub. For those who are trained Citizen Science Leaders, you may already have pre-arranged locations and times at which you will carry out FreshWater Watch research.