Empowering communities in monitoring, reporting and generating new data on water ecosystems quality

Created Dec. 14, 2023, 8:19 a.m.
Updated Dec. 14, 2023, 8:56 a.m.

The strategy of the ECOMORE project was to: understand the relationships between citizens, researchers and authorities in water management; create an easy-to-use and long-term feasible platform for reporting water quality issues at national level (Aqua S.O.S. online platform); select a number of volunteers to measure the quality of surface water bodies of their choice; understand the participants motivations in undertaking science activities, for how long and at what level they are willing to commit to science activities, and how much they learnt about science and the environment from the project.

Between April 2021 and June 2022, two campaigns involving the public in water quality evaluation have been undertaken. During Campaign 1, citizens were requested to send qualitative data (photographs, water color, smell, transparency, litter) through the Aqua S.O.S. online platform.  We received 113 contributions, for 76 aquatic systems, from 24 individual participants. The second campaign involved a small group of dedicated volunteers to collect and measure water samples from 6 aquatic systems across Romania. The volunteers submitted 28 data sets containing the following information: pH, total dissolved solids, dissolved oxygen, temperature, carbon dioxide, nitrates, phosphates, precipitation, surroundings, vegetation, types of litter, aquatic life presence, water level estimation and water color. The data reveled that waste, plastic waste in particular, was prevalent in the Romanian aquatic systems. Moreover, some rivers and lakes were heavily polluted with municipal wastewater threatening the ecosystems health. At the end of the second campaign the participants filled in questionnaires, which helped us understand their motivation to participate in the project activities, their views on the environment and water pollution, level of difficulty in performing the analyses etc. Also, based on the project results, reports were sent to the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Research.

Aim

The aim of ECOMORE project was to develop the capacity of citizens to report and monitor water pollution and to promote the active involvement of communities in raising awareness, education and decision-making.

How to participate

Observational data can be sent through the online platform (only in romanian). https://aquasos.inoe.ro/index.php/formular/

Interested participants can receive water quality testing kits (subject to funding availability).

Only for Romania.

Needed equipment

Mobile phone with internet.

Testing kits can be provided at request (subject to funding availability).

About funding

Funding bodies: UEFISCDI Romania

About branding

Profile image design by: Iuliana, Tabacarie Lake

Logo design by: Project member Cristina

Completed from 15/09/2020 until 14/09/2022
Keywords
Water Quality And Monitoring Aquatic Ecosystems Citizen Science
Science Topics
Ocean, Water, Marine & Terrestrial
Tags
Do-it-yourself
Difficulty Level
Easy
Participation tasks
Observation Photography
Coordinator
Location
National

rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, sea, ground water in Romania

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