Earthwatch has partnered with Royal Bank of Canada to protect urban freshwater resources. Together, we are expanding the reach of Earthwatch’s research, working with local communities to improve water management in three European cities.
Freshwater bodies are a central feature of cities all over the world. They provide benefits to both wildlife and people, supporting the environment, communities and economy. However, rapid population growth and increasing urbanisation is putting pressure on these important natural resources, through pollution and poor water management.
To tackle the challenges facing urban freshwater bodies, Earthwatch is working with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to expand our research programme. This follows RBC’s Blue Water Project, a 10-year USD 50 million programme to “help provide access to drinkable, swimmable, fishable water, now and for future generations”.
Our partnership expands FreshWater Watch into three European cities: Dublin, Luxembourg and Paris. The aim of the partnership is to:
Royal Bank of Canada is helping Earthwatch to establish FreshWater Watch projects in Dublin, Luxembourg and Paris. In each city, we work with a network of stakeholders who monitor water quality, including local researchers and citizens.
With support from RBC we were able to bring our public WaterBlitz events to these three cities in September 2019. During these events, RBC employees assisted the general public in collecting as many local water samples as possible in one weekend, using simple and fun citizen science activities. Building on this year’s success, we’ll be repeating these WaterBlitz events in 2020.
As part of RBC’s commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Earthwatch is also providing employees with hands-on training about the importance of freshwater conservation. This will help employees understand the importance of water, the threats it faces, and how they can help manage these precious resources.
Images: John Hunt, Jay Ortiz