ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 28, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A total of 254,459 visits were made by people worldwide to their local streams, rivers, lakes and other water bodies as part of the World Water Monitoring Challenge (WWMC) in 2012, according to the program's Year in Review report released this week by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA).
As an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world, WWMC engages citizens in basic monitoring of their local water bodies. Although some participants acted as individuals, many took part with schools, universities, civic, environmental, and faith-based groups. Data was reported from 66 countries, including the United States with 2,971 monitored sites, followed by Spain (1,320), Romania (176) and Canada (175).
Participants from Albania to Zimbabwe tested their local waterways for four key water quality indicators: dissolved oxygen (DO), pH (acidity), temperature, and turbidity (clarity). Some groups also monitored for the presence of certain macroinvertebrates such as dragonflies, mayflies and scuds. Samples were taken in a range of settings—agricultural, commercial, residential and industrial—on six continents. Throughout 2012, the program distributed more than 12,000 WWMC monitoring kits worldwide.
WWMC grew out of the World Water Monitoring Day program in 2012. While an official "day" continues to be observed each year on September 18, the broader "challenge" encourages people everywhere to test the quality of their waterways, share their findings and protect our most precious resource. Participants can monitor and report data to the WWMC database anytime from March 22 (World Water Day) until December 31.
WEF and IWA received financial and in-kind support from the program's primary sponsors including the U.S. Geological Survey, Xylem Inc., and Smithfield Foods.
For a complete list of program partners, as well as more detailed statistics, please see the World Water Monitoring Challenge 2012 Year in Review, which is available online at www.MonitorWater.org or via request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 36,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. WEF members, Member Associations and staff proudly work to achieve our mission to provide bold leadership, champion innovation, connect water professionals, and leverage knowledge to support clean and safe water worldwide. To learn more, visit www.wef.org.
The International Water Association (IWA) is a global reference point for water professionals, spanning the continuum between research and practice and covering all facets of the water cycle. Through its network of members and experts in research, practice, regulation, industry, consulting and manufacturing, IWA is in a better position than any other organization to help water professionals create innovative, pragmatic and sustainable solutions to challenging global needs. To learn more, visit www.iwahq.org.
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Source:Water Environment Federation