World Water Monitoring Day

World Water Monitoring Day taking place on 18 September 2019, is an international education and outreach initiative that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world. This observance was established in 2003 by America's Clean Water Foundation to raise awareness of the issues of pollution of water bodies.

With the World Water Assessment Programme reporting that every day two million tons of human waste is disposed into water courses, keeping tabs on quality is critical. At its core, the practice serves five major purposes:

  • Results are used to pinpoint any changes or trends that appear in water bodies over a period of time.
  • Regularly monitoring water quality is a crucial part of identifying any existing problems, or any issues that could emerge in the future. For example, data has been used to reveal that over the past few years, increases in fertilisers used for food production had increased global nitrogen pollution in rivers by up to 20%.
  • When designing and developing pollution prevention and management strategies, data collected from water quality monitoring efforts is hugely helpful. With 70% of untreated industrial waste dumped straight into water systems, pollution management is crucial.
  • Today governments, communities and businesses are required to meet a range of water quality goals. Monitoring data is used to determine whether pollution regulations are being complied with.
  • From oil spills and radiation leaks to floods and mass erosion, water quality monitoring data is a must when developing emergency strategies.

Many areas of Africa are affected by water pollution and microbial water-bound contaminants like Cholera. The increased demand on water suppliers has often led to water that is unfit for human consumption. This is often the case in many smaller towns throughout South Africa. Where river water is consumed: upstream contamination, via sewerage and human use (washing of clothes etc.) is an important consideration for water quality.

There is no such thing in nature as pure water. Nearly all water contains contaminants, even in the absence of nearby pollution-causing activities. Many dissolved minerals, organic carbon compounds, and microbes find their way into drinking water as water comes into contact with air and soil. When pollutant and contaminant levels in drinking water are excessively high, they may be detrimental to human health.

Water quality monitoring is an essential part of keeping the planet healthy and sustainable. As we continue to build cities, clear land for farming and make other man-made changes to the natural environment, water quality monitoring becomes increasingly important. Land based activities can have a huge impact on water systems and it’s critical to realise how these affect waterbodies, both above and below ground.

Take part on 18 September 2019 to test local water quality and encourage action to protect water.

World Cleanup Day Poster 2019World Water Monitoring Day Poster 2019 (62 KB)

World Cleanup Day Poster 2019World Water Monitoring Day Poster 2 2019 (1.13 MB)

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