What does the water in the canal smell of today? Is the Sloterplas lake water really so clean because of the mussels and underwater plants? What actually lives in the ditch behind the house? And can you drink the Vondel Park pond’s water? This summer Amsterdammers, both young and old, will have the opportunity to research their city’s water themselves. Five hundred keen participants are needed for this Clean Water Experiment. The project’s initiators are Deltares, Wageningen University, KWR, AMS Institute, Waternet, Regional Public Water Authority Amstel, Gooi en Vecht, and the artist Pavèl van Houten.
Over the last few years the water in Amsterdam’s canals, ditches, ponds and waterways has become a lot cleaner. And the city’s residents, particularly in the summer, are taking full advantage of it. Hot weather, but also heavy rainfall, can temporarily make the water less clean – think, for instance, of the impact of algal growth or of overflowing sewers. From 5 July until 8 September, 500 Amsterdammers will become water experts and research the quality of the water in the city. They’ll be using the Waterbox, which contains all the instruments they’ll need to carry out the measurements; these might take place at the same site every week, or at constantly different sites throughout the city. The participants will in this way find out how clean the water in the canal, the Vondel Park or the ring canal is.
Why a Clean Water Experiment?
The experiment involves 500 citizen water experts working with water researchers from Deltares, Wageningen University, KWR, AMS Institute and Waternet. Since measurements will be taken simultaneously at multiple city sites and points in time, and because many water experts will be involved, it will be possible to gain much greater insight into the quality of the water and to do so very quickly. The quality of the city’s water will thus be jointly and clearly mapped out. Citizen science is very valuable for science. Nowhere in Europe does the collection of data on nature by citizens reach the levels that it does in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
More information and registration
To find out more or to participate in the experiment, please go to the Clean Water Experiment website.