In the ‘Water Freshness’ field trial citizens will be participating for the first time as researchers in scientific research into drinking water. Fifty Amsterdamers will be taking samples of their drinking water in their homes. KWR wants to use this trial to map the microbial diversity of the city’s water. The KWR researchers will also be looking into what citizens think of such ‘Citizen Science’ projects. Interested Amsterdam residents can register for the trial via Facebook.
Worldwide, citizens are becoming increasingly involved in research and innovation. There are various initiatives in the Netherlands, such as the iedereenwetenschapper.nl website. The Dutch drinking water companies are also interested in further exploring this kind of collaboration. With the Versheid van Water (Water Freshness) field trial, citizens will be participating for the first time as researchers in a scientific drinking water research project.
Fifty Amsterdamers will be taking three samples of tap water in their homes: two from the tap (one immediately and one after five minutes of flow) and one from a small bottle or bidon . The samples will be analysed in KWR’s laboratory using the new, Next Generation Sequencing measurement method, which enables the mapping of microbial diversity. The citizen researchers will also be testing the water at home for microbes. They will themselves observe the growth of microbes over a couple of days and transmit the results to KWR. During the project and after its completion, the citizen researchers, water company and KWR will discuss their experience with the field trial as well as its outcomes.
Want to take part in the trial?
Residents of Amsterdam (minimum age: 16) can register via the Versheid van Water Facebook page to participate in the trial (this link is not active anymore). To obtain a varied group of 50 participants, a selection will be made of all those expressing interest on the basis, among others, of postal code area, housing type and demographic background. Like KWR on Facebook and you’ll receive all the updates on this unique project.