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Change Planet Partners Climate Innovation Foundation

Water Citizen Science

Water Citizen Sciences Apps Awareness Initiative ‘  presents glocal water citizen science applications.The initiative that began in the month of June 2016 thus far curated and presented some 5+ pioneering applications spanning multiple actor/stakeholder networks.Examples include Ganga Shravan Abhiyan, FloodUp, the WWMC to name a few.Through this initiative, we hope to inspire and catalyze some of the promising ideas uptake/scale-up in India – among the citizen organizations/groups – especially youth driven – and enable their conscious engagement  in the health and well-being of the water bodies and societies as ‘Water Citizen Science Corps’.

Citizen Scientist is a Volunteer

A citizen scientist is a volunteer who collects and/or processes data as part of a scientific enquiry. Projects that involve citizen scientists are burgeoning, particularly in ecology and the environmental sciences, although the roots of citizen science go back to the very beginnings of modern science itself” (Jonathan, 2009)

Citizen Science is a Public Good

Approaches to citizen science – an indispensable means of combining ecological research with environmental education and natural history observation – range from community-based monitoring to the use of the internet to “crowd-source” various scientific tasks, from data collection to discovery. With new tools and mechanisms for engaging learners, citizen science pushes the envelope of what ecologists can achieve, both in expanding the potential for spatial ecology research and in supplementing existing, but localized, research programs. The primary impacts of citizen science are seen in biological studies of global climate change, including analyses of phenology, landscape ecology, and macro-ecology, as well as in sub disciplines focused on species (rare and invasive), disease, populations, communities, and ecosystems. Citizen science and the resulting ecological data can be viewed as a public good that is generated through increasingly collaborative tools and resources, while supporting public participation in science and Earth stewardship” (Dickinson et.al, 2012)

Trends and Challenges in Citizen Science

“The participation of the general public in the research design, data collection and interpretation process together with scientists is often referred to as citizen science. While citizen science itself has existed since the start of scientific practice, developments in sensing technology, data processing and visualization, and communication of ideas and results, are creating a wide range of new opportunities for public participation in scientific research….

…Although hydrological data collection often involves advanced technology, the advent of robust, cheap, and low-maintenance sensing equipment provides unprecedented opportunities for data collection in a citizen science context. These data have a significant potential to create new hydrological knowledge, especially in relation to the characterization of process heterogeneity, remote regions, and human impacts on the water cycle. However, the nature and quality of data collected in citizen science experiments is potentially very different from those of traditional monitoring networks.

This poses challenges in terms of their processing, interpretation, and use, especially with regard to assimilation of traditional knowledge, the quantification of uncertainties, and their role in decision support. It also requires care in designing citizen science projects such that the generated data complement optimally other available knowledge…” (Buytaert et.al, 2014)

Drivers of Citizen Science

“Societal and technological developments rapidly succeed each other in the 21st century. We know more and more, but desire to know even more and even faster. First of all this means the barrier between experts and laypeople is fading. Second, science budget cuts lead to a need of more economic approaches. A third development is the requirement of societal relevance of studies in order to qualify for grants. A final trend is the rapid development of small, cheap sensors…

…The increasing demand of resources and changes in environment (e.g. climate change) affect the way we do science as well. Citizens are more and more involved in activities in science…” (Ellen Minkman, http://bit.ly/2bpM7XG)

Water Citizen Science Applications - I

The World Water Monitoring Challenge (WWMC) is an international education and outreach program, coordinated by EarthEcho International. WWMC builds public awareness and involvement in protecting waterways around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of local water bodies, share findings, and protect our most precious resource.

The WWMC testing kit and app puts powerful citizen scientists across the world to work with data and strategies to improve and protect various water resources.

The World Water Monitoring Challenge is managed by EarthEcho International, a leading environmental education and youth leadership nonprofit organization co-founded and led by Philippe Cousteau, Jr. The app and database was built by mWater, a technology company that creates mobile data solutions for safe water and better health.

Learn more via : http://monitorwater.org/

This app allows one to view and share, in real time, observations of floods and their effects. It also allows one to send information about other related phenomena, places where there is a potential flood risk, evidence of historical floods, significant infrastructure or emblematic sites related to flooding.

The information compiled through the app may be consulted via the app or the web page of the FLOOD-UP project.The app also provides educational guidelines for learning more about flood risks and prevention tips and links to further information.FLOOD-UP is an application developed by the Meteorological Hazards Analysis Team (GAMA) from the University of Barcelona Department of Astronomy and Meteorology. This application forms part of the UB mobility project.

“FLOOD-UP. Exploring our resilience against flooding” is a scientific outreach and citizen science project about the risk and impact of flooding funded by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) – Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO).

Know more via link :  http://www.floodup.ub.edu/

The climatology of tropical cyclones is limited by uncertainties in the historical record. Patterns in storms imagery are best recognized by the human eye, so this project  needs citizen scientist volunteers  help in analyzing these storms.

With this project,an attempt is being made to learn more about how tropical cyclones form and change. By answering a few simple questions about these satellite images, citizen science volunteers help climatologists to predict future storm behavior.

Know more via link : https://www.cyclonecenter.org/

Water Citizen Science Applications - II

Mobile app “Ganga Shravan Abhiyaan(GSA)” is a combination of mobile app with web portal which provides an interface to citizens to provide their valuable suggestions and inputs in the form of Water Quality Monitoring with the help of Standard Water Quality Testing (WQT) Kit or without WQT Kit.

Ganga Shravan Abhiyaan app facilitates citizens, options for data submission by scientific monitoring through Water Quality Testing Kits (available with different organizations) or by simple visualization of water quality.

The app compares data with the Central Pollution Control Board prescribed general standards for water quality and informs about quality of water at that site and its suitability for different purposes like drinking, bathing etc.

It is expected that the app empowers citizens to participate in the “Mission Clean Ganga” by monitoring river Ganga water quality in their nearby locality and thereby driving policy decisions indirectly.

Creek Watch is an iPhone application that enables citizen scientists to help monitor the health of their local watershed.

The Creek Watch App uses four pieces of data:

The amount of water: empty, some, or full
The rate of flow: still, moving slowly, or moving fast
The amount of trash: none, some (a few pieces), or a lot (10 or more pieces)
A picture of the waterway

The aggregated data is shared with water control boards to help watershed groups, agencies and scientists to track pollution, manage water resources and plan environmental programs.Creek Watch is a project developed at IBM Research – Almaden in consultation with the California State Water Resources Control Board’s Clean Water Team.

Know more via link : http://www.creekwatch.org/

CoCoRaHS is a grassroots citizen volunteer network of backyard weather observers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow) in their local communities.

By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive web-site, the project aims to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications.

The web page provides the ability for its observers to see the observations mapped out in “real time”, as well as providing a wealth of information for its data users.

Know more via link :  http://www.cocorahs.org/