ALEXANDRIA, VA. — A total of 212,502 people worldwide visited their local streams, rivers, lakes, and other water bodies in celebration of World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD) 2010, according to the program’s Year in Review report released by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA). The 2010 results represent a 73 percent increase in program participation from the previous year.

As an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world, WWMD engages citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies. Although some participants acted as individuals, many took part with schools, universities, civic, environmental, and faith-based groups. Data was reported from 85 countries, up four from the 81 logged in 2009, including the United States with 2,931 monitored sites, followed by Spain (1,485), Romania (301), and Malaysia (290).

Participants from Albania to Zimbabwe tested their local waterways for four key water quality indicators: dissolved oxygen (DO), pH (acidity), temperature, and turbidity (clarity). Some groups also monitored for the presence of certain macroinvertebrates such as dragonflies, mayflies, and scuds. Samples were taken in a range of settings — agricultural, commercial, residential, and industrial — on six continents. Throughout 2010, the program distributed more than 16,500 WWMD monitoring kits worldwide — 500 more kits than those distributed in the previous year.

WWMD is officially observed each year on Sept. 18. Participants can monitor and report data to the WWMD database anytime from March 22 (World Water Day) until Dec. 31.

WEF and IWA received financial and in-kind support from the program’s primary sponsors including the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, PerkinElmer, ITT Corporation, Sinclair Knight Merz, and Smithfield Foods.

For a complete list of program partners, as well as more detailed statistics, please see the World Water Monitoring Day 2010 Year in Review, which is available online at www.worldwatermonitoringday.org.

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