Water monitoring challenge in Yamuna basin Educating communites along the river about the importance of water testing quality

Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 10:30

Water, water everywhere, not a drop to drink!  How truly these lines depict the picture of present scenario. There are lots of organizations, people and experts involved in the discussions and making efforts at international level to have safe, sustainable drinking water for all. Yet the efforts are not enough…

This year India’s Trust for Research on Earth and Environment /TREE and YAMUNA WATERKEEPER have become a part of a global environmental movement. World Water Monitoring Challenge is an international education and outreach programme that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies. World Water Monitoring Challenge truly is a team effort initiated by The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and The International Water Association (IWA).

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit association that provides technical education and training for thousands of water quality professionals who clean water and return it safely to the environment. WEF members have proudly protected public health, served their local communities, and supported clean water worldwide since 1928.


Collecting water sample for testing

 Water sample being collected for testing

The International Water Association (IWA) is a global reference point for water professionals, spanning the continuum between research and practice and covering all facets of the water cycle. IWA addresses challenges of water and sanitation through promoting collaboration, knowledge development and integrated, sustainable solutions.

Community participation in testing the water samples

Community participation in testing the water samples

This year TREE and Yamuna Waterkeeper also joined this global movement and participated in World Water Monitoring Challenge. Delhi, Delhi NCR and some areas of Uttar Pradesh were selected to monitor the waterways. Communities in surrounding  areas was educated first why it is important to test the water quality. Once they were convinced they came forward to learn the water testing process. Yamuna Waterkeeper and volunteers of TREE organized these training workshops at various places among the communities. The kits donated by WEF were used.

In this whole process, local communities and some students from different institutions got training of testing PH level, oxygen, temperature, and turbidity in their water. They tested these parameters and recorded the data in the forms. The results were filled in the form and later were uploaded to the database on the website of World water monitoring challenge. According to the final results waterways in India are not clean; especially the water quality in Yamuna River basin is not potable. Turbidity and PH level was found high and Dissolved oxygen at most of the places was traced nil.

Local communities were so eager and enthusiastic to know their water quality but after the findings they were disappointed and came forward to share their health issues. They shared with us their stories thinking their voice will have an international platform to be heard by the local government. Really these communities are struggling to access to clean and affordable water. At the end of the events all the participants realized the importance of keeping waterways clean.

The data we gathered really pointed to the effect humans have on their environment. For improving this statistic TREE is going to implement an environmental campaign to raise the awareness of community residents on environmental protection.

We all enjoyed participating in the World Water Challenge. We hope we can get more schools and communities to do it next year! One more time we want to thank Water monitoring movement for the test kits we have been provided this year.