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Registration is now open for our Autumn Thames WaterBlitz!

Are you concerned about the recent press coverage about the polluted state of our rivers? Are you available for half an hour between the 25th – 28th September? If so, we have a free and exciting activity that you might want to join. The Thames WaterBlitz is a four-day event run by Earthwatch, designed to help us find out more about the water quality in the Thames Valley. We believe that we cannot truly understand what is going on in our rivers without collecting evidence that demonstrates how healthy (or unhealthy) they really are. We will use data collected by you during the WaterBlitz to identify clean waters, to pinpoint pollution hotspots, and to help inform where, who, when, and how remedial actions should be taken, understand what is happening in your local rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams.

Please be aware that this is an outdoor activity and you will not need to come into contact with other people, however, please check that you are following the latest COVID-19 advice in your region regarding self-isolation, social distancing, and movement.

Want to take part? Read on for more information. If you want to help make a difference to your local environment, find out more about the event and what you need to do below.

Who can take part?
– You must be in the Thames Valley area on the weekend of 25th September, with some free time to complete the survey.
– You must be able to access a local river, stream, pond, lake, or other areas of freshwater.
– You must have access to the internet, or know someone who will be able to upload results to the internet for you.
What will I need to do?
Visit http://www.earthwatch.org.uk/waterblitz to register. This is a simple process that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. You will be set up with an account so that you can log in to our website (if you already have a FreshWater Watch account, please log in and register from your profile page). Before you go out to take your measurements, you will need to log in to your profile to read our user guide and watch a short training video. We will send you a kit shortly before the WaterBlitz weekend – please make sure to only take your measurements samples between the 25th and 28th September. The survey itself should only take about 15 minutes, but of course, you can take longer if you like. You can upload your data using our mobile app while you are out collecting your measurements, or you can fill out a datasheet and upload the information to our website later. It is very important that you take the time to upload and check your data, as it will be used in future scientific studies and will help inform policies and improvements.

What is the data for?
Most of our natural waters in the UK are suffering from pollution and other human impacts. You can help us protect our waters by providing vital information on the pollution levels and what the local land uses and the environment is like. We could never collect this much information by ourselves, so we are asking you to help us. This is our 10th WaterBlitz in the Thames Valley, and we are starting to build a real understanding of what’s happening across the catchment. Having repeated measurements is vital to provide robust, scientific evidence, which can be used to make real changes. Find out more about our last WaterBlitz here, and keep an eye on our website for more information.

Please feel free to email us at water@earthwatch.org.uk if you have any questions. Please note, if you do register for our WaterBlitz we will send out emails to remind you about the dates you can collect your measurements. This is because we want to make sure volunteers use their kits and upload their data so that we can use it to improve our waters.

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