Poor water quality is a problem that affects people from all walks of life, all over the world. If we are to work together to create a sustainable environment and meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, we first need to ensure that people can be part of the management and monitoring of the local environment. FreshWater Watch is a global “citizen science” project, run by Earthwatch, that engages non-scientists in the monitoring and management of their local freshwater ecosystem. Data collection started in 2012, and over 20,000 datasets from 2500 waterbodies have been collected from 6 continents.
FreshWater Watch does more than simply generating new data for freshwater research. Over the past six years, it has brought together volunteers from six continents to work towards the common goal of improving their local water quality. In partnership with UN Environment GEMS Water, Earthwatch is evolving FreshWater Watch to empower communities to drive progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In this talk, Izzy Bishop, Freshwater Research Manager at Earthwatch, will show us examples from around the world of communities that have already used FreshWater Watch. She will talk us through the impact that citizen science has had on water quality and what this means for the communities in question. Finally, she will discuss how Earthwatch and GEMS Water are working together to build on these successes, making sure that no-one gets “left behind” in the complex debates and decisions that are necessary to create a healthy and sustainable future.The event will be streamed here.