FreshWater Watch

Empowering communities, as citizen scientists to understand and protect local freshwater bodies


5 Step Guide to

FreshWater Watch


FreshWater Watch "Welcome! Follow these steps to get your project up and running." - Caroline Shepherd, Freshwater Programme Manager, Earthwatch

5 Steps

Who? Someone who...

Resource Checklist


Initial set up and training will take a couple of days. Monitoring will take around 30 minutes per person once a month, and you should allow a couple of hours to communicate with your group.

  • Engage an existing community group, or establish a new one. We suggest 5-20 members.
  • As a group, agree what you would like to focus on in your FreshWater Watch project - do you want to monitor possible pollution sources? Understand the water quality at special sites? Monitor the impact of local restoration measures?
  • Make sure you complete your 30-day challenge with ChangeX

  • Once you have completed your 30-day challenge with ChangeX and received your funding, Earthwatch will get in touch to discuss your project, provide more resources and share an Agreement for the Group Manager to sign.
  • Together we will work out how many water monitoring kits you need to cover your FreshWater Watch activities for your first six months.
  • We will set up a personalised page for your group on our FreshWater Watch platform.

Earthwatch will invite you to an online training session and share online training resources, to explain and demonstrate how to:

  • Register on the online platform
  • Safely use the water monitoring kits
  • Set up the mobile app
  • Upload your data
  • Interpret and analyse your results

Using this information, the Group Manager will train up your volunteers so that they can safely collect data and can use the online platform and/or mobile app.

  • Your group can now get outside and start monitoring your chosen water body / bodies!
  • We suggest you monitor once a month, but you can monitor more frequently if you wish.
  • Upload your data in real-time via the mobile app, or use a paper datasheet and enter your written results at a desktop computer or laptop when you return home.

  • Using the online visualisation tools, review and analyse your data.
  • Work with Earthwatch to draw some conclusions from your data.
  • Communicate your findings, with your group and wider - think about which local stakeholders you could engage.
  • Action planning - with your group, consider what next steps you wish to take to take/drive action.