World Water Monitoring Day was established in 2003 by America’s Clean Water Foundation as a global educational outreach program that aims to build public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by empowering citizens to carry out basic monitoring of their local water bodies. Roberta (Robbi) Savage, ACWF’s President and CEO created WWMD and Edward Moyer was the first WWMD Coordinator.
A simple test kit enables everyone, children and adults, to sample local water bodies for a set of water quality parameters including temperature, acidity (pH), clarity (turbidity) and dissolved oxygen (DO). Results are then shared with participating communities around the globe through the WWMC website.
World Water Monitoring Day is celebrated on September 18. It was initially chosen to be a month later (October 18) to recognize the anniversary of the US Clean Water Act, which was enacted by the US Congress in 1972 to restore and protect the country’s water resources. In 2007, the date was changed to facilitate participation in parts of the world where temperatures reach freezing at that time.
In 2006, ACWF transferred coordination of the event to the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA). The collective goal was to expand participation to one million people in 100 countries by 2012. In January 2015 the management of World Water Monitoring Day was again transferred – this time to Phillipe Cousteau’s educational non-profit EarthEcho International.
2008 saw students from Indonesia to Arkansas taking part in water sampling to bring attention to the importance of water quality.