FreshWater Watch is a research project taking place in 25 cities around the world that aims to involve 100,000 people in a program to learn about and safeguard the quality and supply of freshwater in the future.
Participants become citizen scientists and take an active role in scientific data-gathering, supervised by experts, joining a large global community working together to promote freshwater sustainability. FreshWater Watch was initiated under the HSBC Water Programme, a $100 million partnership with Earthwatch, WaterAid, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – three of the world’s most respected NGOs.
Participants in Brazil become citizen scientists and take an active role in scientific data-gathering.
Water brings huge and growing global challenges. It is essential to all human activity and a fundamental driver of all socioeconomic growth. Yet less than 1% of the world’s freshwater is readily accessible, and freshwater is under strain from population growth and climate change.
Nearly 800 million people in the world are without access to safe water, and 2.5 billion people are living without basic sanitation. By 2050, nearly half of the world’s population will be living in areas where water is scarce, and 90 percent of all population growth will occur in regions where water is scarce and there is currently no sustainable access to water.
Citizen scientists in Europe collect data on water to safeguard the quality and supply of freshwater in the future.
The development and delivery of the Citizen Science Leader, an initiative designed to train HSBC employees about the water program, relies upon strategic partnerships with locally based organizations. Each of these organizations has local research questions that are dependent upon the local water challenges. We are using consistent methodology, strategy, and objectives to create a single, global database.
We anticipate that data will be collected from more than 35,000 locations around the world, most of which have never previously been studied. Scientists anticipate that the data will be published in more than 30 scientific publications and make a huge contribution to the protection of water quality and supply.
That is why we will share the findings with policymakers, NGOs, and businesses worldwide so that we can play our part in tackling one of the greatest challenges of our time.
The overarching global research questions are:
- What are the links between drivers of global change (e.g., climate, sea level rise, pollutant transport) and local water quality and quantity?
- How do changes in the flow and quality of freshwater in urbanized environments alter ecosystem goods and services?
- Which catchment-based activities and conditions offer the best means of positively enhancing the quantity and quality of water available to local communities and downstream ecosystems?
- What are the cultural and social values assigned by the local population to water?
GETTING INVOLVED IS EASY
It's easy to get involved. Visit The Water Hub to learn more about global freshwater challenges and to contribute your citizen science data as a FreshWater Watcher.