What is World Water Monitoring Day?

World Water Monitoring Day™ is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies.

October 18 was originally selected as World Water Monitoring Day in recognition of the anniversary of the U.S. Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Act was enacted by Congress in 1972 and is a milestone in efforts to restore and protect U.S. water resources. However, in 2007, the date was changed to September 18 in hope of warmer weather since some parts of our world are frozen solid by October 18.

In 2006, 3,900 sites were monitored in 39 countries, and the program is expected to grow in years to come. World Water Monitoring Day™ was started in 2002 by Roberta (Robbi) Savage, president and CEO of America’s Clean Water Foundation (ACWF). Due to increasing participation and expanding reach, in 2006 ACWF transferred the program to the Water Environment Federation (WEF) to provide a larger platform for program delivery. The WEF Board of Trustees formally adopted the program on July 27, 2006.

The International Water Association continues to be a partner in the coordination and promotion of World Water Monitoring Day™. In addition, WEF is in the process of forming a technical advisory committee with several partner organizations and agencies to provide input and support.

The primary goal of World Water Monitoring Day™ is to educate and engage citizens in the protection of water resources around the world. Many communities around the world are unaware of the condition of their water quality and the impact of their behaviors on the quality of their water resources. Conducting simple monitoring tests teaches participants about some of the most common indicators of water health and encourages further participation in more formal citizen monitoring efforts.

How Can I Participate?
It’s easy and fun to participate in World Water Monitoring Day™. Just visit the website to register your site and purchase a test kit. You can monitor between September 18 and October 18. Reporting data allows you to share your experiences with others in your community and keep a yearly record of your monitoring test results. Reports are accepted until December 18. In addition to monitoring your local waterway, consider organizing a trash clean up, going on a walk through your watershed, or talking to a school group or scout troop about water pollution.

How is the Monitoring Data Collected Through World Water Monitoring Day™ Utilized?
Water quality scientists use data from more sophisticated monitoring programs to make decisions on the health and management of water resources. The monitoring tests performed by WWMD participants are designed to bring communities together to learn about the importance of monitoring their local water resources and what they can do to help protect them.

Citizens who enjoy participation in World Water Monitoring Day™ may want to investigate more sophisticated citizen monitoring efforts such as http://www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/volunteer/.

What tests can be made?

World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD) Kits include everything you need to test the four “snapshot” parameters of watershed health: temperature, pH, turbidity and dissolved oxygen. The kit contains a step-by-step instruction booklet describing how to use the kit, one set of hardware (collection jar, pH test tube, DO vial, Secchi Disk decal and a thermometer) and enough pH and dissolved oxygen reagent tablets to perform 50 tests. A Material Safety Data Sheet is also included.

What happens at the end of the monitoring period?

This is an exciting time of collecting and analyzing the data. All data must be entered by December 31 to be included in the 2009 annual report. In the meanwhile, coordinators will be writing stories and publishing photos and highlights of their events on the WWMD Web site, and on their respective Web sites and in publications. Involvement leads to information which leads to excitement for more involvement which leads to meeting the goal of one million people monitoring by 2012!

When registering, is there a way to pull up previously entered information, or do I have to enter all the data in new again?

You can participate in the program again this year and add new data to any sites you registered in 2007 or 2008. Data entered prior to 2007 will need to be reentered into the new database. Archived data is available on an Excel spreadsheet under the Data & Reports menu.