On the weekend of 25th to 28th September the environmental NGO Earthwatch will be running their 10th WaterBlitz event, and they are requesting some specific help from all MoRPh volunteers with interests in water quality.

The Thames WaterBlitz is a four-day citizen science event, in which as many members of the public as possible are encouraged to get outside and conduct some basic water chemistry tests on their local river. Volunteers collect data on nutrient concentrations in the river, which can provide an indication of the chemical health of the water. The data collected are used to identify clean waters, to pinpoint pollution hotspots, and, via liaison with the Environment Agency, to inform where, when, and how further monitoring and remedial actions should be taken.

Following recent media attention on the state of our rivers, Earthwatch are keen to make their 10th WaterBlitz bigger and more impactful than ever before.In particular, by exploring how different citizen science projects can work together to build a clearer understanding about how different elements of the environment are linked.

The WaterBlitz offers the opportunity to create a demo case for doing exactly that. By linking WaterBlitz data to Riverfly and MoRPh data, we will be able to explore the links between water quality, hydromorphology, and ecology in rivers across the Thames catchment.

Earthwatch are therefore hoping to recruit willing MoRPh volunteers to conduct surveys at the same locations and on the same weekend as the WaterBlitz.

Data can be collected and submitted following your usual procedures. It will be shared with Earthwatch, who will use it to a) compare MoRPh data with Earthwatch water quality measurements and other relevant data (e.g. EA river flow data), and b) create a working case study demonstrating how citizen science projects can work together to contribute data to our national river monitoring networks. Earthwatch will produce a written report of the results to share with all volunteers after the event.

If you are able to help, please let us know by emailing your name and proposed monitoring location to ibishop@earthwatch.org.uk.

If you would like to conduct the Earthwatch water quality tests alongside of MoRPh monitoring on WaterBlitz weekend, you can sign up to receive your free kit here (NB you will need to register for an Earthwatch account in order to submit your water quality data).  

For any other questions or more information about how MoRPh can contribute towards improving water quality and ecological resilience in your local river,s through integrated analysis please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The WaterBlitz & Modular River Survey Teams