Test your water and submit results for Make a Difference Day

Take the World Water Monitoring Challenge and serve as a citizen scientist for Make a Difference Day.

Many people take part in water testing to help protect water resources.

Many people take part in water testing to help protect water resources.

Young and old people alike can help protect the world’s water through the World Water Monitoring Challenge (WWMC). This citizen science opportunity is a great fit for 4-H clubs, other youth organizations or school groups to use for their Make a Difference Day effort on October 25! Being involved in WWMC includes registering your site, preparing monitoring equipment, monitoring the site, and reporting data. Once data has been collected, it must be entered in the WWMC database by October 31.

WWMC is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement for protecting water resources. Citizens around the world conduct basic monitoring tests on their local water bodies; turbidity, pH, temperature, and other indicators of water quality are then compared from water all over the world. In 2013, a total of 184,965 visits were made by participants in 51 countries. This information helps show how human behavior impacts water quality and encourages further participation in monitoring efforts.

There is no fee to participate in WWMC, however a water test kit is needed. Your county Michigan State University Extension office or local school may have a kit available for your use. For testing in future years, kits can also be purchased directly from WWMC. The current cost is $13.25 for a basic kit plus $8.40 for shipping. Also, you don’t have to wait until October to collect your data; data collection occurs annually starting on March 22, and ends each fall. Michigan 4-H members have contributed data in past years as part of their club’s environmental stewardship efforts.

WWMC is coordinated by the Water Environment Federation, a non-profit association that provides technical education and training for thousands of water quality professionals who clean water and return it safely to the environment, and International Water Association, a global reference point for water professionals, spanning the continuum between research and practice and covering all facets of the water cycle. WWMC is sponsored by Smithfield Foods, Inc. , Xylem Inc., and the CH2M HILL Foundation.

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