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The Water Environment Federation (WEF) recently adopted World Water Monitoring Day, an international outrach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources. Held annually between Sept. 18 and Oct. 18, the program engages communities in monitoring the condition of local rivers, steams, estuaries, and other water bodies. Since its inception, more than 80,000 people have participated in 50 countries

&quotAs an international water quality organization, part of WEF’s mission is to educate the public about the importance of protecting our water resources,&quot says WEF Executive Director Bill Bertra. &quotThis unique and exiting program not only allows us to broaden our reach and scope, but is a wonderful complement to the Federation’s current public education programs.&quot

Originally a national event, the program was founded in 2002 by Robbi Savage, president and CEO of America’s Clean Water Foundation. Oct. 18 was selected as World Water Monitoring Day in recognition of the U.S. Clean Water Act, enacted by Congress in 1972. World Water Monitoring Day became an international program the following year.

Communities around the world monitor their selected sites between Sept. 18 and Oct. 18. According to WEF, an easy-to-use test kit enables everyone from children to adults to sample local water bodies for a core set of water quality parameters, including temperature, acidity (pH), clarity (turbidity), and dissolved oxygen (DO). Results are then put into an international database and summarized on the program’s website.

The test kit ($13 plus shipping and handling with the United States; international costs may vary) contains a step-by-step instruction booklet, one set of hardware (collection jar, pH test tube, DO vial, Secchi Disk decal, and a thermometer), pH and dissolvd oxygen reagent tablets for 50 tests, and a material safety data sheet. For more information and to register, visit www.worldwatermonitoringday.com .

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