Global Participation in World Water Monitoring Day(TM) Increases 60 Percent in 2008

February 9, 2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — More than 73,000 people worldwide visited their local streams, rivers, lakes and other water bodies in celebration of World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD) in 2008, according to the program’s Year in Review report released this week by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA).

WWMD 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 goal is to engage one million people in monitoring their local waterways by 2012.

Participants from Argentina to Zambia tested their local waterways for four key water quality indicators: dissolved oxygen (DO), pH (acidity), temperature, and turbidity (clarity). Samples were taken in a range of settings — agricultural, commercial, residential and industrial — on six continents.

A total of 73,510 people monitored sites worldwide, which represents a 60 percent increase over participation in 2007. Some participants acted as individuals while many took part with schools, universities, civic, environmental, and faith-based groups. Data was reported from 70 countries — 27 more than the 43 logged in 2007. Sites in the United States accounted for approximately 63 percent of the 5,040 monitored worldwide. After the United States, Spain (14 percent), Taiwan (three percent), and Malaysia (two percent) led global WWMD efforts in the number of sites monitored.

The coordinators of WWMD, WEF and IWA, would like to acknowledge the generous financial and in-kind support in 2008 from primary sponsors including the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, PerkinElmer, ITT Corporation, CH2M HILL, and Smithfield Foods.

WEF and IWA would also like to recognize the generous contributions of Procter & Gamble (P&G) to WWMD’s “Wash Your Hands, Save a Life” campaign, which was featured in 2008 as part of the United Nations’ “International Year of Sanitation.” Thanks to P&G, WWMD included a bar of biodegradable, environmentally-friendly soap and a handwashing fact sheet in the 14,000 water monitoring kits that were distributed to people in 70 countries worldwide.

WWMD is officially observed each year on September 18. Beginning in 2009, the monitoring window will expand, allowing participants the flexibility to monitor and report data to the WWMD database anytime from March 22 (World Water Day) until December 31. The 2008 figures reflect data submitted between September 18 and December 18.

For a complete list of program partners, as well as more detailed statistics, please see the World Water Monitoring Day 2008 Year in Review, which is available online at www.WorldWaterMonitoringDay.org or via request to wwmd@wef.org.

About WEF

Formed in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization with 35,000 individual members and 80 affiliated Member Associations representing an additional 50,000 water quality professionals throughout the world. WEF and its member associations proudly work to achieve our mission of preserving and enhancing the global water environment.

About IWA

The International Water Association (IWA) is a global network of water professionals that spans the continuum between research and practice, covering all facets of the water cycle. IWA membership comprises 10,000 individuals and 400 corporate members, working in 130 countries. The Association seeks to connect water professionals worldwide to lead the development of effective and sustainable approaches to water management.

SOURCE Water Environment Federation

Source: newswire

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