Thank god for community-based water monitoring programs (CBM). The last time the government put out a report on this watershed they used data from a decade ago! WTH.
There are so many benefits to CBM water programs such as advocacy, empowerment, accessible research, increased coverage of areas monitored to support informed and ethical policy decision-making.
I love that CBM water programs, debunk the idea that you have to be an expert to do science or understand science. I believe science is important, credible and needed. There has been a huge push for science based decision-making on climate change and the environment which I think generally has been good. The problem I have is when powerful people say it while trying to perpetuate the idea that science is an objective absolute holy truth. Without even getting into who and what agenda is funding ‘objective’ science - can anyone really ever be objective?
There is also a need to decolonize science. Western science has been unjustly privileged over Indigenous knowledges, science and worldviews to the detriment of us all. So another reason I love community-base monitoring programs, is I am learning about more and more Indigenous-led organizations and nations that have created and have been implementing CBM programs rooted in their communities cultures and traditional knowledges. Check out the organization called Decolonizing Water for resources in this area.
CBM programs are critical to the health of the water. Among the many positive impacts, CBM programs collect and track the information governments aren't for whatever reason.Grateful for CBM people taking action for the health of the water and the water is too! These photos were taken at 2 different water sampling locations along the same river. Can you spot the hearts?