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On September 18, 2003, the world first celebrated World Water Monitoring Day. Today, the program has become the World Water Monitoring Challenge (WWMC), a citizen science project which encourages people to test and protect water resources all year long.
 
Kits provided by the World Water Monitoring Challenge test four indicators of water quality: turbidity, pH, temperature, and dissolved oxygen. Turbidity is the clarity of water. Turbidity can be affected by the amount of erosion or runoff in an area. pH tests the amount of acid in water. pH can be affected by chemicals in runoff and even rain. A body of water’s temperature can be affected by runoff and land development, which often removes trees and other vegetation that provide shade to streams and ponds. Dissolved oxygen is the amount of oxygen in a body of water. Oxygen is critical for living things. Dissolved oxygen can be affected by temperature (cold water can support more oxygen than warm water) and the presence of organisms such as bacteria and algae.
 
Through the World Water Monitoring Challenge, individuals and classrooms can share their data with other citizen scientists around the world through charts, graphs, and maps.
acid
Noun

chemical compound that reacts with a base to form a salt. Acids can corrode some natural materials. Acids have pH levels lower than 7.

algae
Plural Noun

(singular: alga) diverse group of aquatic organisms, the largest of which are seaweeds.

Plural Noun

(singular: bacterium) single-celled organisms found in every ecosystem on Earth.

celebrate
Verb

to observe or mark an important event with public and private ceremonies or festivities.

chart
Noun

diagram, often in the form of a graph or table, with information on the relationships between the subjects represented.

Noun

science project or program where volunteers who are not scientists conduct surveys, take measurements, or record observations.

clarity
Noun

clearness or transparency.

critical
Adjective

very important.

dam
Noun

structure built across a river or other waterway to control the flow of water.

data
Plural Noun

(singular: datum) information collected during a scientific study.

development
Noun

construction or preparation of land for housing, industry, or agriculture.

dissolved oxygen
Noun

measure of the amount of oxygen in a substance, usually water.

encourage
Verb

to inspire or support a person or idea.

Noun

act in which earth is worn away, often by water, wind, or ice.

graph
Verb
to depict the relation between certain sets of numbers by plotting them with reference to a set of axes.
indicator
Noun

sign or signal.

Noun

body of water surrounded by land.

Noun

symbolic representation of selected characteristics of a place, usually drawn on a flat surface.

monitor
Verb

to observe and record behavior or data.

Noun

large body of salt water that covers most of the Earth.

pH
Noun

measure of a substance's acid or basic composition. Distilled water is neutral, a 7 on the pH scale. Acids are below 7, and bases are above.

Noun

natural or man-made lake.

resource
Noun

available supply of materials, goods, or services. Resources can be natural or human.

Noun

large stream of flowing fresh water.

Noun

overflow of fluid from a farm or industrial factory.

Noun

body of flowing water.

Noun

degree of hotness or coldness measured by a thermometer with a numerical scale.

turbidity
Noun

cloudiness or lack of transparency.

vegetation
Noun

all the plant life of a specific place.

water quality
Noun

chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of water for a specific purpose such as drinking.

Noun

entire river system or an area drained by a river and its tributaries.

well
Noun

a hole drilled in the Earth to obtain a liquid or gaseous substance.