In 2021 we announced our partnership with The Commons and the Water Data Collaborative in a major project called Water Watch to support citizen science water monitoring programs in the Shenandoah Valley. To date, we have successfully onboarded seven groups into the program, which uses two cloud-based applications—Water Reporter and Field Doc*—to connect watershed groups to their members.
Now comes the hard part: How to achieve a critical mass of Water Watch participants within a watershed sufficient to produce meaningful monitoring data regionally and to contribute to broader, national conservation initiatives. To realize the full potential of our Water Watch program, Downstream is ramping up support for our (mostly volunteer) partner organizations on all fronts: administrative, creative, technical, communications, and funding.
And in 2022 we will extend the reach of Water Watch beyond the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, as we engage with the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council in Michigan, a significant player in Great Lakes watershed conservation.
By going “all in” with Water Watch, we can and will achieve confluence with the efforts of the national Water Data Collaborative, which seeks to “scale these [local] efforts to larger geographies and more partners to provide a critical linkage transforming data to action.”
*Developed by The Commons (formerly Chesapeake Commons) More about The Commons here: www.ourcommoncode.org