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 increased algal growth or of overflowing sewers. From 5 July until 8 October, 2017, 500 Amsterdammers will become water experts and research the quality of the water in the city.
From 5 July until 8 October, 2017, 500 Amsterdammers will become water experts and research the quality of the water in the city. They’ll be using Waterbox, which was specially developed and 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 significance of citizen science
Since measurements are taken simultaneously at multiple city sites and points in time, and because many water experts will be involved, it will be possible in this project to gain much greater insight into the quality of the water and to do so more quickly. It is also the first time in the Netherlands that citizen scientists have been used on this scale in the field of water quality. The role of KWR in the project is focussed primarily on the socio-scientific aspects, and thereby on the citizen scientists themselves. What is the background of the Amsterdammers involved? What motivates them to participate? And what is the significance of their participation, for instance, with regard to their involvement with Amsterdam water issues.