World Water Monitoring Day events in Littleton and Ouray County

A picture named worldwatermonitoringday2009

From the Littleton Independent (Holly Cook):

“If there’s a lot of oxygen in the water it’s like, yeah, fish can breathe,” said Denver Academy sophomore Phil Matthews. “If there’s not a lot, it’s bad for the fish.” The dissolved oxygen test was only one of many basic indicator tests Denver Academy students completed at the Littleton Englewood Wastewater Treatment Plant as part of the fifth annual World Water Monitoring Day, Oct. 20.

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. The Water Environment Federation encourages communities to raise water quality awareness from March 22 to Dec. 31 each year…

“We want to expose kids to their impact on overall water quality so that they might take the easy steps to protect it,” said Littleton Englewood Wastewater Treatment Plant chemist Steve Mustain. He continued by explaining how water treated in the plant eventually moves to places like Thornton, where it becomes residents’ drinking water. “Yes, the South Platte is a river running through town but it’s also used for drinking water and supports aquatic life.”[…]

Nearly 1.1 billion people (roughly 20 percent of the world’s population) lack access to safe drinking water. The lack of clean, safe drinking water is estimated to kill almost 4,500 children per day. “It would be important to know about your water quality if you lived in Mexico or Costa Rica,” said sophomore Nick Evans, while testing the PH balance of the river water. “Especially if you’re drinking from a tap.”[…]

According to the World Water Day organization, the problem isn’t confined to a particular region of the world. A third of the Earth’s population lives in “water stressed” areas and that number is expected to rise dramatically over the next two decades…

Started in 2002 in the United States, World Water Monitoring Day is celebrated in 50 countries by more than 75,000 participants per year. It’s the goal of the Water Environment Federation to involve 1 million people in 100 countries by 2012. It was inspired by the belief that everyone — not just professionals with specialized degrees — can study the natural world and collect meaningful data, trained volunteer monitors spend countless hours in the field making careful observations and measurements. Results are shared with participating communities around the globe to track emerging trends, through the World Water Monitoring Day Web site.

Meanwhile, here’s a report from the Uncompahgre River watershed, from The Telluride Watch. From the article:

Seven volunteers from the Friends of the River Uncompahgre (FORU) and the Ridgway-Ouray Community Council (ROCC) gathered this week to participate in a World Water Monitoring Day sampling event. Hosted by the Uncompahgre Watershed Planning Partnership (UWPP) in cooperation with the US Forest Service, the group took samples from the Uncompahgre River in Delta, Olathe, Montrose and Ridgway. Samples were also taken from Canyon Creek in Ouray, as well as Full Moon Gulch and Red Mountain Creek in Ironton. The samples taken were field tested for turbidity, temperature, pH (acidity), and dissolved oxygen levels and the results were entered into an online database where results from around the world could be seen. Coordinating the effort was Andrew Madison, an Americorps Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) with the UWPP; the testing kits were provided by the US Forest Service office in Delta…

The purpose of having participants perform basic tests is to help them better understand the health of their respective watersheds as well as to have an active role in protecting their water resources. This program fits in well with the UWPP’s mission of protecting and restoring water quality in the Uncompahgre River through coordinated community and agency efforts. Public outreach and education is an important part of this and the UWPP was happy to participate and increase awareness regarding the health of the Uncompahgre River. The US Forest Service was also happy to participate, showing its concern regarding the protection and stewardship of this important resource.

More water pollution coverage here.

Leave a Reply