Eye on Water – Australia

A citizen science project commencing in July 2017 aims to use measurements of water colour to understand changes in water quality.

A citizen science project (https://research.csiro.au/eyeonwater/) commencing in July 2017 aims to use measurements of water colour to understand changes in water quality. Water colour is a very informative indicator of the ecological state of marine and fresh-waters. Until recently, it has only been measurable with specialist scientific instruments. This Australian initiative has built upon results from the EU Citclops project (www.eyeonwater.org) which, since 2015, has combined a fully operational smartphone application with a supporting website.

Displaying how the app works on a mobile phone

This project plans to build on the success of the “Eye on Water” project by integrating additional physical measurements. Citizen scientists will generate valid data for calibration of satellite information, and provide a synoptic overview of their environment. Each participant will obtain a better understanding of how local water bodies change seasonally and in response to short duration events like bushfires, floods and cyclones.

 

Janet Anstee teaching school children how to use the EyeonWater App

 

This project aims to harness the enthusiasm of citizen scientists interested in the water quality of their local region. Once organisations and communities are engaged, CSIRO will provide training for the phone application, deployment of a Secchi disk, and basic water quality testing. The consolidated data will be viewable on a website and various visualisation tools will facilitate analysis by the citizen Science.

A map application showing the colour observations via the mobile phone app.