Crowdsourcing Water Quality Data through Mobile Apps

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Monitoring of our waterways is critical to identify issues of concern, to evaluate restoration projects’ success, and to gauge changes over time. New technologies are continually shaping the way we collect data, providing water quality monitors with new capabilities and increasing the amount, variety, and quality of data being collected. Mobile apps are a fun, interactive way to involve people in monitoring their local waters and to educate them on local issues.

Today, 77% of Americans own smartphones, and many organizations are developing apps that citizen scientists can use to collect data more easily and more frequently. Apps can be used to collect data, identify macroinvertebrates, take photos, and view water quality information.

This webinar, cohosted by the Urban Waters Learning Network, explored three mobile apps designed to identify issues that threaten stream and public health. Learn about the Galveston Bay Action Network pollution reporting app, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper’s Swim Guide, and EPA’s bloomWatch. Presenters gave an overview of their mobile apps and how they were developed, as well as share how their data is being used to make a difference in their waterways.

Presenters:

  • Sarah Gosset, Water Quality Manager, Galveston Bay Foundation
  • Gabrielle Parent-Doliner, Swim Guide Program Manager, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper
  • Hilary Snook, Senior Scientist, Environmental Protection Agency