Sep 6, 2011

Wold Water Monitoring Day Sept 18!

MADISON - World Water Monitoring Day is Sept. 18, 2011, and will potentially be marked by hundreds of Wisconsin schoolchildren and citizens testing water quality on their favorite Wisconsin lakes and streams.

Wisconsin boasts some of the nation's most abundant water resources -- 15,081 inland lakes, 44,000 miles of streams and rivers, part of two Great Lakes and 260 miles of the mighty Mississippi River, 5.3 million acres of wetlands, and enough groundwater to cover the state to a depth of 100 feet!

And its citizens lead the way in helping state natural resource managers keep track of this watery wealth, including: Wold Water Monitoring Day

  • More than 1,000 volunteers monitor lakes across Wisconsin for through the Citizen Lake Monitoring Network.
  • More than 300 citizens test local streams, including 60 teachers who engage their students, through the Wisconsin Action Volunteers program.
  • More than 171 educators in 2010 received hands-on lessons about aquatic resources from DNR educators certified to present the Project Wet curriculum; these educators in turn estimated they'd reach 36,600 students with the lessons.

"Wisconsin's lucky to have so many citizens helping keep track of what's going on in our waters," says Ken Johnson, who leads water programs for the Department of Natural Resources. "World Water Monitoring Day shines a spotlight on the importance of monitoring and the people who do it."

Through WAV and Clean Lakes Monitoring Network, DNR and UWEX supply citizens with the training and equipment to conduct the monitoring. Volunteers feed their information into databases.

The water quality information volunteers collect is used in many ways, says Kris Stepenuck, who coordinates the Water Action Volunteers program for DNR and UWEX. Uses range from feeding into Wisconsin's required report to Congress on the condition of its waters, to helping determine whether a particular lake or river needs to be considered for inclusion on the state's "impaired" waters list, to inclusion in various state and national studies assessing water quality.

More water education news, including free posters - A series of water monitoring lesson plans developed for World Water Monitoring Day [] by that organization and Project WET staff are now available online.