Overview and Outcomes
Water Reporter is the social network dedicated to mapping qualitative information on the world’s rivers and oceans. Using a smartphone anyone can leverage our growing platform to document a paddling trip, conduct a qualitative stream survey, or alert our organizational network of a threat to local water quality. Merging open source technology with volunteer monitoring programs is allowing critical connections to be made between local government, volunteers, and nonprofit environmental organizations to unite and work together toward watershed improvement. Our native applications for IOS and Android devices empower everyday citizens to take actions that protect and improve water quality in their communities and plug into organizations and initiatives that are relevant to their interests. This organically growing community is leveraging Water Reporter to organize stream cleanups, propel citizen science campaigns and lead restoration efforts right in their backyards, all from a united platform.
Together the community has worked to share and map over 1,000 images of their local waterways and organized to implement a variety of local restoration efforts. Stream Link Education depends on Water Reporter to crowdsource valuable data from their volunteers on where potential buffer plantings can occur along the Monocacy River. Once implemented, Stream Link volunteers document progress and succession of the plantings with images, comments, and hashtags. Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin leverage Water Reporter and it’s volunteers to map algal blooms and submerged aquatic vegetation to identify hot spots within the many tributaries of this multi-state watershed. Our platform flexibly accommodates a variety of citizen science and monitoring programs while allowing any individual to form valuable connections with their watersheds.
Chesapeake Commons continually works to expand the active organizational network in Water Reporter and operates collaboratively with its community members to continually build useful feature sets. This leveraged software development approach compliments volunteer monitoring and citizen engagement by unifying watershed restoration networks nationally while making our efforts to monitor and improve water quality relevant to the general public
The Key is in your Pocket: Using smart phones to ensure clean and plentiful water for today and tomorrow
-Nancy Stoner, Water Program Director, The Pisces Foundation
Water Reporter app crowdsources water pollution issues