Understanding our precious water
Around the world, freshwater resources are in crisis.
Water is all around us, but just 2.5% of the world’s water is fresh water. And less than 1% of that water is available for people to use.
Fresh water is a vital but increasingly threatened resource. In just 40 years, populations of freshwater species have declined by 80%. Our recent research into the UK’s Thames river catchment showed that nitrate levels remain high, representing a threat to water quality for both humans and animals. As our population grows, pollution from industry, farming, and households is threatening the quality of water in every part of the world.
To tackle this problem, we need to understand our freshwater environments, and how best to protect them.
FreshWater Watch is a global project which enables individuals and communities to monitor, protect and restore their local water resources.
We train people around the world to collect water and analyse water samples from local rivers, lakes, and other bodies of fresh water. The resulting data provides the evidence needed to support efforts aimed at improving water quality.
FreshWater Watch was launched in 2012 as part of the HSBC Water Programme. Since then, Earthwatch has expanded this flagship project to reach volunteers, research organisations, and schools across the world.
As water experts, we know we will only improve freshwater habitats by working together. That’s why we’re bringing together citizens, businesses, governments, scientists, and educators to protect our fresh water.
datasets on water quality collected by our volunteers
people have been trained to monitor local water quality
students, community volunteers, and corporate employees educated about the global water challenge
scientific publications have used FreshWater Watch data
Our work has supported water quality improvement in 2,500 ecosystems across 40 cities, 20 countries and 6 continents
Images: John Hunt, Jay Ortiz