“World Water Monitoring Day is about reconnecting people to their watersheds,” said Grumbles in his opening remarks. “Think globally; test locally,” he added.
EPA, the U.S. Geological Survey, Perkin Elmer Instruments, ITT Corporation, CH2M HILL and Smithfield Foods are sponsors of the program.
During the month-long monitoring period, local water bodies are tested for a core set of water quality parameters including temperature, acidity (pH), clarity (turbidity) and dissolved oxygen (DO). Participants have until December to report results which are then put into an international database and summarized on the program's Web site.
WEF and IWA, encourage citizens and organizations to get involved in hopes of raising awareness of the value of clean water and its relationship to public health and the environment. “We take it as an article of faith that there are problems in the world, but they can be solved. World Water Monitoring Day is one way of solving them,” said WEF President Adam Zabinski.
Ase Johannessen, Development Program Officer for IWA, spoke to the international aspects of the program, “WWMD connects people of five different continents. We all have a vision of the water environment irrespective of our religion, nationality or culture. WWMD really symbolizes something profound. We’re now working to spread it in numbers and geography.”
During the September 18th event, students from Kimball Elementary School (Washington, DC), Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community Day School (Reisterstown, Md.), and Hebrew Day School (Silver Spring, Md.) performed tests on the Potomac River and visited two dozen educational and interactive displays on a number of water quality issues. Participating organizations included the Alice Ferguson Foundation, Amazon Conservation Team, District Department of the Environment, City of Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission, CH2M HILL, DC Water and Sewer Authority, Earth Conservation Corps, Earth Day Network, Girl Scouts of the Nation's Capital, International Year of the Reef, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, Jewish National Fund, LaMotte Company, National Environmental Education Foundation, Naturalist Audubon Society, Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Potomac Conservancy, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Water Environment Association.