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.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry 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.
bacteria Plural Noun
(singular: bacterium) single-celled organisms found in every ecosystem on Earth.
to observe or mark an important event with public and private ceremonies or festivities.
diagram, often in the form of a graph or table, with information on the relationships between the subjects represented.
citizen science Noun
science project or program where volunteers who are not scientists conduct surveys, take measurements, or record observations.
Encyclopedic Entry: citizen science clarity Noun
clearness or transparency.
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.
construction or preparation of land for housing, industry, or agriculture.
dissolved oxygen Noun
measure of the amount of oxygen in a substance, usually water.
to inspire or support a person or idea.
act in which earth is worn away, often by water, wind, or ice.
Encyclopedic Entry: erosion 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.
body of water surrounded by land.
Encyclopedic Entry: lake map Noun
symbolic representation of selected characteristics of a place, usually drawn on a flat surface.
Encyclopedic Entry: map monitor Verb
to observe and record behavior or data.
large body of salt water that covers most of the Earth.
Encyclopedic Entry: ocean 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.
natural or man-made lake.
Encyclopedic Entry: reservoir resource Noun
available supply of materials, goods, or services. Resources can be natural or human.
large stream of flowing fresh water.
Encyclopedic Entry: river runoff Noun
overflow of fluid from a farm or industrial factory.
Encyclopedic Entry: runoff stream Noun
body of flowing water.
Encyclopedic Entry: stream temperature Noun
degree of hotness or coldness measured by a thermometer with a numerical scale.
Encyclopedic Entry: temperature turbidity Noun
cloudiness or lack of transparency.
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.
entire river system or an area drained by a river and its tributaries.
Encyclopedic Entry: watershed well Noun
a hole drilled in the Earth to obtain a liquid or gaseous substance.