Congratulations 2012 Water Champions!
In honor of the United Nations’ World Water Day, the World Water Monitoring Challenge™ (WWMC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the fourth annual Water Champion awards. The Water Champion awards recognize superior levels of relevance, educational effort, support, and innovation in the promotion of water quality through involvement in WWMC.
On March 22, 2013 the program honors the outstanding efforts of eight groups and four individual participants for outreach conducted in 2012 (under the World Water Monitoring Challenge banner). Award recipients, as selected by the program's Regional Panel of Judges, are presented below:
Pedagogic In-Service Training Programme (Group)
Following three teacher training sessions during 2011, ISTP developed a strategic paper in 2012 to enhance school monitoring and reporting in four regions of Cameroon. All types of waterbodies ranging from lakes, rivers, streams, and wells were monitored. Fifty new sites were added to this year's project. A record number of more than 12,000 students have been active. The group reports that WWMC activities have led to elevated interest in environmental issues in areas touched by the program. Some schools are already planning to build relations with local authorities in a bid to promote water quality education. Click here to learn more.
Dawid DeWet (Individual)
DeWet organized volunteers in the Limpopo Province of South Africa to monitor and clean up the lower sections of the Mutale River. In four days, an area of 50 kilometers along the river was cleared of 55 bags of trash. Supported by several local organizations, the activity also attracted the attention of many community groups and individuals that spontaneously joined the effort. Click here to learn more.
In cooperation with the Two Lakes One Reservoir Foundation of Guizhou, China, NatureWize incorporated WWMC activities into two nature education camps, one in July and the second in August. Approximately 70 youth ages 6-14 participated. NatureWize continues to make its testing equipment available to all educators in the community. The group reports that the organizers, educators, and media who witnessed the event have now seen a very powerful tool for getting more water users to engage with and understand their water resources. Click here to learn more.
Arora Minakshi (Individual)
Through work with the Yamuna Waterkeeper (Delhi, India), Minakshi initiated several educational campaigns to protect waterways and support WWMC. During the 15-day India International Trade Fair, 6,000 school students participated in quiz programs and games, and 20,000 people received information on water quality. As a result, Minakshi reports that her organization is being asked to provide even more in the way of water quality education. "Even principals of various schools are asking to train their students to be environmental scientists with the easy WWMC kit." Click here to learn more.
Seqwater has conducted a significant water education program and water monitoring program for the past four years with in excess of 15,000 students per year taking part in monitoring activities across 1.5 million hectares of catchment. In 2012, the water quality of the major water supply for 2.5 million people living in South East Queensland was highlighted through the Bunya to the Bay project. Twenty-five students from South East Queensland traveled from the source of the Brisbane River to the mouth in order to examine the effects of drought and flood on this precious resource. Click here to learn more.
Wollondilly Anglican College (Group Runner-up)
Based in Tahmoor, Australia, Wollondilly students have demonstrated a continuing interest in the environment and, particularly, water resources management. In addition to planting native vegetation on the school grounds, the horticulture class has propagated natives to help revegetate local mine sites. A group of approximately 20 students conducts routine monitoring at two sites along the Bargo River and reports data to the local Streamwatch program, as well as WWMC. The school plays an active role in encouraging other schools to discuss water results in a broader context. Click here to learn more.
Animex Foods (Group)
For the past eight years, Animex Foods has coordinated WWMD/WWMC events for local youth in nine Polish cities. The key objective is to increase awareness of the significance of clean water in the natural environment and its impact on everyday life. In 2012, over 300 people participated in the events organized by Animex. In addition to water monitoring, students (ages 9-17) engaged in contests on water quality preservation and conservation. In all nine cities, local authorities and environmental organizations also joined in the activities. Click here to learn more.
Municipal Center for Extracurricular Activities (Group Runner-up)
The Municipal Center for Extracurricular Activities, an educational unit of the Dolna Mitropoliya municipality in Bulgaria, worked with students of its environmental club to complete a work plan for the study of the Danube River involving water monitoring. Monitoring was also conducted by students from all eight municipal schools in conjunction with several local and national celebrations, including International Danube Day (June 29) and Let's Clean Bulgaria for One Day (May 12). Click here to learn more.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Environmental Education (Group)
In 2012, The Office of Environmental Education set out to register the greatest number of sites and engage the most people in WWMC of any state in the US. In less than five months, Florida registered 210 sites and had 4,176 participants. The OEE served as the point of contact for the entire agency by promoting the challenge, suggesting outreach opportunities, providing kits and training, registering sites, and uploading data. The chief audience was middle school students throughout Florida, primarily from underserved schools. Click here to learn more.
Jackie Turner (Individual)
Turner is the Park Service Specialist at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park (near Tallahassee, Florida). For the past six years, she’s led water quality monitoring events through 16-24 different water bodies in the park. Her day-long field experiences allow groups of 10-15 students, parents, and volunteers to experience the world-renowned hydrological features of Wakulla Springs. Turner's program involves monitoring one of the state's largest springs from a boat and exploring other park features, including sinkholes, springs, and a well from which participants test the groundwater. Click here to learn more.
Club de Ciencias Bénticos (Group)
Based in Montevideo (Uruguay), the Club de Ciencias Bénticos has monitored the presence of macroinvertebrates in the Arroyo Miguelete, the city’s main source of fresh water, since 2010. Upon entering the WWMC program and receiving the donation of kits in 2012, club members enriched their testing with pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. They have presented their findings to local authorities and scientists and earned distinction nationally and internationally in various science fairs, including an honorable mention from UNESCO. Click here to learn more.
Rogério Lafayette Pinto (Individual)
Between March and November 2012, Lafayette Pinto engaged 150 students in Niterói, Brazil in learning about and championing the Río das Padras. Under Lafayette Pinto’s leadership, students monitored the river at several points, planted trees along its banks, participated in science fairs, and created a campaign to clean up the river. At one fair, students presented a petition calling for a clean river, which was signed by the Municipal Secretary of Education, the Municipal Secretary for Science and Technology, and about 200 other community members. Click here to learn more.