Innovations That Matter

iPhone app lets citizen scientists help monitor the local watershed


There’s nothing like mobile technology to help the crowds take part in monitoring their surroundings. Where French Montre Verte recruits citizens to monitor the air quality of Paris and The Urban Forest Map is tapping the crowds to map the trees of San Francisco, Creek Watch is an iPhone application that will soon enable users to help monitor the health of their local watershed. Coming soon to Apple’s App Store, Creek Watch will let citizens have a hand in maintaining the quality of their local waterways. Whenever they pass by one, they’ll be able to spend a few seconds using the Creek Watch application to snap a picture and report a few facts about what they see, including how much trash is evident, how much water is there and how fast it’s flowing. Creek Watch will aggregate that data and share it with water control boards to help them track pollution, manage water resources and plan environmental programs. A map on the Creek Watch site will display the data that’s already been contributed, as will an alternative presentation in table form. Creek Watch is a project developed at IBM Research – Almaden in collaboration with the Living Environments Lab and in consultation with the California State Water Control Board.–6KAptDL4
Creek Watch currently focuses on the Northern California watershed. All you water-related brands out there: how about sponsoring something like this in your neck of the global watershed…? (Related: Free water-saving tool with toilet paper purchaseDevice ionizes tap water for anti-bacterial, chemical-free cleaningShampoo brand is a reminder to save waterWater-bottle refills at cafés, now with a charitable twistBuy a bottle of wine and donate clean water.)



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