Established in 2003 as a global educational outreach programme, World Water Monitoring Day was created to encourage testing of local water resources and thereby promote public awareness and involvement in and protecting these resources. It hopes to highlight the impact of human behaviour on the quality of water resources and empower people to carry out basic monitoring of local water bodies themselves.
Water is absolutely essential to life, every known life form requires it to exist. With water pollution and the problems it raises being more prevalent, the goal of encouraging people to take an active role in the testing of local water is increasingly urgent.
EarthEcho International, a non-profit organization established by the grandchildren of Jacques Cousteau, is inspiring young people to identify and tackle environmental challenges in their own communities. One way EarthEcho is doing this is by encouraging young people to test their local water. For World Water Monitoring Day, EarthEcho is providing water test kits to non-profit student and youth groups around the world. The kits can also be purchased on-line directly from EarthEcho for a nominal fee. These participating young people take a sample from a local water source, test this water for pH, temperature, Dissolved Oxygen and Turbidity with the kits provided and then upload the results to the EarthEcho website. These worldwide results may be viewed here Earth Echo Results.
In conjunction with Water Monitoring Day, Sarah and Patrick Houston are a young couple who have embarked on a bicycle tour down the Mississippi River, beginning August 2, 2017 from the headwaters in Minnesota. They plan on riding to New Orleans to arrive September 15, taking frequent water samples and testing them along the way. They will be employing LaMotte test kits to evaluate the water quality and posting their results to the EarthEcho website. They are also posting video reports of their travels which are available on their website Wander Like Water or on YouTube.
The Mississippi River, the 4th longest in the world with a watershed that covers 40% of the USA, has been used as a chemical waste dump site since the Industrial Revolution yet still serves as a drinking water source for over 18 million people. Since it runs through many rural areas, fertilizer and weed killer run-off is yet another concern. The Houston’s will be interviewing diverse users along the way to learn more about the health and wellness of the river as well as about the treatment facilities keeping the water safe to drink.
This September 18 everyone is invited to participate in Water Monitoring Day by investigating a local water source in your community. It could be a creek, river, lake, wetland or even your own well or tap! Learn something about the source of the water. Where has it travelled from? Are there any known pollution issues? If so, what if anything is being done about it? What if anything has been done to treat this water? Are there any residents in this body of water? If so, what are they? Are there any current conservation or restoration projects you could participate in? Is this area a part of any migratory route?
If everyone participates in this day, a clearer understanding and appreciation of the natural world around would be the result and that would benefit all.