Community Groups

Do you belong to a community group that is interested in the health of your local freshwater environment? We are pleased to offer tiered FreshWater Watch packages to groups who want to make a difference in their community by monitoring the health of their local water body. Some of the benefits of our packages include:

  • Understanding water quality in your local community
  • Measuring the effectiveness of restoration measures
  • Engaging local citizens
  • Using a recognised methodology to influence management authorities and/or polluters.

Many freshwater bodies are affected by pollution, as a result of nutrient run-off from nearby agriculture, industry or waste facilities. Our FreshWater Watch community groups test and monitor the status of their local water body, raising awareness of freshwater health and taking action to restore and protect it. Group members have access to water testing kits and our online platform, including instructional videos, global research data, and a mobile app to collect data easily in the field. For more details, please see our Information Pack.

Making an impact in Ireland

Led by the Water Institute at Dublin City University, community members have been using FreshWater Watch to monitor the River Liffey. They have found big differences in water quality dependent on surrounding land use, and a high impact of rainfall. In addition to engaging and educating volunteers on water quality issues, this has initiated discussions with Dublin City Council and the Irish misconnections project exploring solutions to the problem of poorly-connected plumbing of new build homes.

Taking action in Africa

FreshWater Watch is enabling communities in Africa to monitor freshwater quality and feed into national reporting for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are working with local NGOs, community groups and schools in Zambia, and their data is being used by the national Water Management Authority (WARMA) to increase coverage for SDG reporting. This project has also fed into a scientific publication encouraging a greater use of citizen science in SDG monitoring.

Through our projects, communities become more knowledgeable on local and global environmental challenges, and can change things for themselves and other communities in the area.

Professor Steven LoiselleSenior Research Lead at Earthwatch Europe

Zoom into the map below to check if there is an existing group near you, or click here to view as a list. Click on a pin to read more about a group and contact them directly to express your interest.

Would you like to see your community group on the map? Find out how!

  • A research question - something that you want to find out about your local water body
  • Local interest - you will need volunteers who are available to collect data for the group
  • Funding - the exact costs will depend on what you want to get out of your project
  • Time - you will need to check your group data and make sure it's being uploaded correctly
  • Basic I.T. skills and internet access - our data platform is managed through our website and app.
We encourage a minimum of five members and a maximum of 20 members per group. This is so that regular data collection can be shared fairly amongst group members and everyone feels equally involved.
We offer tiered pricing to enable small self-funded groups to take part. For our Basic package, there is a £150 one-off fee for initial setup, plus a £200 annual fee. Please see our Information Pack for more details.
As often as you can! The more frequently data is collected from a specific water body, the more easily changes can be picked up. To identify trends over time, we generally recommend at least monthly measurements.
Our data is open-source and free to use by individuals, scientists, policymakers and organisations around the world. We follow a standardised global methodology, providing robust data that is used as evidence to support efforts to improve water quality.