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/.