I would like to encourage all of you, one last time, to consider
participating in a project that I feel has much to offer us individually and
as a group: World Water Monitoring Day.
WWMD is just around the corner: 18 Oct 2003. Until then, volunteers around
the world are being encouraged to sample their local streams, lakes, and
Objectives are to : 1)increase public awareness of local and global water
issues (e.g., pollution, de-forestation, etc.); 2) provide a venue for
public outreach (e.g., sampling techniques, aquatic habitats); 3) establish
a global database for evaluating long-term trends in water quality (e.g.,
warming, acidificiation, etc.).
Participation is easy:
1. Sign up as a participant and then register the site(s) you would like to
2. Go to your site(s) and measure water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen,
and water clarity.
3. Submit your data
This is the perfect opportunity to take a couple of your friends out
collecting - and its a great way to get young people interested in (and
personally involved with) the water bodies in their own backyard. Many of
you are taking advantage of the autumnal weather to schedule a few last
field trips before winter sets in. Why not piggy-back fish-collecting for
yourselves with data-acquisition for Planet Earth ?
Martin Moore (MS), Tyler Strange (LA), and I did this last year when the
scope was "national"
Tyler and I repeated our sampling again last weekend when the scope went
Three notes -
1. It may be too late to get the WWMD kits but you can improvise. If you
know a biologist or environmental scientist, you may be able to borrow a
water quality probe or water quality kit. If you do not know someone with
special equipment - just grab your aquarium thermometer and pH kit and make
yourself a Secchi disk. You'll have 3 of the 4 requested parameters and
partial data are better than no data.
This is what a Secchi disc looks like and how it is used:
This is how you can make one:
And this is how Secchi data are interpreted:
2. When collecting your data, be sure to also record air temperature, land
use, and whether water levels are high, typical, or low. Better yet, use
one of the handy-dandy WWMD data sheets (available as a link at the site
3. When entering your data - try not to make mistakes the first time. I
tried to edit an error and wound up enterring a second set of data that I
could not delete.
Lastly - if you participate - please send an email to the list (or to me
personally). I will write something up for American Currents.
- Jan Hoover
Waterways Experiment Station
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