FreshWater Watch: River Wey Community Group
Hear from Kat Kavanagh who set up the River Wey FreshWater Watch Community Group. FreshWater Watch is the citizen science programme from Earthwatch Europe that engages citizen scientists to monitor the water quality of rivers, lakes, reservoirs and wetlands around the world.
Please tell us more about your group
We currently have about 30-40 volunteers. Some of our members have backgrounds in water monitoring from working in the industry.
What kind of water quality issues are you facing in your catchment area?
Sewage overflows and flooding are our biggest issues!
Why did you choose to get involved in the FreshWater Watch project?
I founded and run Water Rangers in Canada, but have moved to the UK for part of the year. The local groups here were keen to set up water monitoring, and I was hoping this would be a great way for our two organisations to start working together in order to amplify our efforts.
What does your community group hope to achieve for your catchment area? What activities are you planning, and how will FreshWater Watch help with them?
We are hoping to establish a baseline water monitoring programme where we can then make evidence-informed plans for restoration. Our group is also keen to get some of the unofficial swimming spots to become official, and so we plan on seeing if we can work with the local university for bacterial testing.
One step at a time, though! First, we want to get the river monitored regularly.
Read more about this community group on the River Wey Trust website. If you are interested in joining an existing FreshWater Watch group in your local area or setting up your own, there is more information on our website.