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Media Contact:  Lori Harrison, (703) 684-2480
September 21, 2007  

Congressman Moran (D-VA), EPA Help Launch World Water Monitoring Day™ 2007


Alexandria, Va. – Virginia Congressman Jim Moran and U.S. EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water, Benjamin H. Grumbles joined the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and over 200 participants on September 18th to kick-off activities for World Water Monitoring DayTM 2007, an international outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting global water resources.

Held annually between September 18 and October 18, World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD) engages communities from around the world in monitoring the condition of local rivers, streams, estuaries and other water bodies. Since its inception in 2002, more than 80,000 people have participated in 50 countries. In his opening remarks, Congressman Moran said that an event such as World Water Monitoring Day encourages citizens to be “a little more knowledgeable about their own watershed and empowered to protect them”.

During the month-long monitoring period, local water bodies are tested for a core set of water quality parameters including temperature, acidity (pH), clarity (turbidity) and dissolved oxygen (DO). Participants have until December to report results which are then put into an international database and summarized on the program's Web site.

WEF and its primary international partner, the International Water Association (IWA), encourage citizens and organizations to get involved in hopes of raising awareness of the value of clean water and its relationship to public health and the environment. “Many communities around the world are unaware of the condition of their water and how their behaviors directly impact the quality of their water resources,” said WEF President Mohamed Dahab. “World Water Monitoring Day is a simple and easy way to educate and engage citizens in the protection of this finite resource and was designed to involve the entire community from children to adults, regardless of skill level or experience.”

Grumbles believes that “monitoring is fundamental” to the sustainable management of our water resources and hopes the program will be as effective at garnering public participation as similar outreach programs have been on issues such as literacy and education. EPA, the U.S. Geological Survey, Perkin Elmer Instruments, Smithfield Foods, CH2M Hill and ITT Corporation, are sponsors of the program.

During the September 18th event, students from Kimball Elementary School (Washington, DC), Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy (Rockville, Md.) and Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community Day School (Reisterstown, Md.) performed tests on the Potomac River and visited several educational and interactive displays on a number of water quality issues. Participating organizations included the Girl Scouts of the USA, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, the Jewish National Fund, LaMotte Company, DCWASA, the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, the National Environmental Education Foundation, the Campagna Center and the Alexandria Division of Environmental Quality.

For more information about how your community can become involved, visit www.MonitorWater.org.  

About WEF
Formed in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization with 32,000 individual members and 80 affiliated Member Associations representing an additional 50,000 water quality professionals throughout the world. WEF and its member associations proudly work to achieve our mission of preserving and enhancing the global water environment.

About IWA
The International Water Association (IWA) is a global network of water professionals that spans the continuum between research and practice, covering all facets of the water cycle. IWA membership comprises 10,000 individuals and 400 corporate members, working in 120 countries.  The Association seeks to connect water professionals worldwide to lead the development of effective and sustainable approaches to water management.