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Revamped outreach program encourages greater participation in monitoring waterways
The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Assn. (IWA) announced a relaunch of the World Water Monitoring Day public education and outreach program. Now called World Water Monitoring Challenge, the new name, look and updated website encourage year-round involvement in the international program that recorded more than 300,000 participants worldwide in 2011.
“WEF and IWA have known for some time that many of our participants monitor their water resources year-round, and need the flexibility to choose a date, or dates, that work best for them. We extended the monitoring window for World Water Monitoring Day in 2008, but there was still confusion about when we wanted people to monitor,” said WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger. “The simple answer is we want everyone to get out to their waterways and learn about them whenever they can. The name change helps us make that point more clearly.”
Expanding the timeframe for monitoring from March 22 until the end of the year boosted program participation considerably. In 2011, nearly 340,000 people monitored their waterways in 77 countries, a jump from five years ago, when the number was closer to 30,000.
In addition to clarifying the intent of the program, the new name aims to serve as a motivational message to encourage people to test the quality of their waterways and share their findings.
More information on World Water Monitoring Day is available at MonitorWater.org.