Reply To: Citizen science

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The  text below provides some clarification in terms of what the water quality project is aiming to achieve and who it is working with.  It has nothing to do with NRW who at the moment would prefer Citizen Science was not involved. However NRW should be interested in the sonde results and it provides us with an avenue to convince them that Citizen Science has a place in collecting basic data. The Council and Nutrient Management Board is reaching out for support from Citizen Scientists to increase the spread of measurements and to assess the impact future changes may bring.

Citizen Science in Collaboration with Ceredigion County Council and the West Wales Nutrient Management Board

The Save the Teifi Group have been invited by the West Wales Nutrient Management Board Technical Advisory Group to be involved in water quality monitoring of the Afon Teifi. Ceredigion County Council has secured funds to install 4 mobile high quality water monitoring sondes along the Afon Teifi. These aim to monitor  a variety of parameters including phosphates in real time at various sites along the river. The council have also purchased kits to support Citizen Science. They would like these kits to be used to take measurements at other sites and in particular on tributaries so that the following can be achieved:-

a) A set of baseline measurements of water quality are taken at a far higher density than currently achieved.

b) Water quality along tributaries and the main river are taken

c) Citizen Science can help to identify potential problem sections of the river and its tributaries which can then be monitored by using the mobile high quality sondes.

d) Modifications to land use and point pollution sources can be assessed to determine if positive changes are being achieved.

e) The data will be freely available and Citizen Scientists will be encouraged to help in the analysis

The collaboration is attempting to ensure that a wide coverage of water quality is achieved and that the results can identify possible pollution sources and inform changes that try to improve water quality. The Citizen Scientists will be asked to take some measurements near the sonde sites to ensure their results are comparable with the high quality results. They also may be asked to monitor specific sections of the river and its tributaries so pollution sources can be identified and actions assessed.

Citizen Scientists with appropriate skills will also have the opportunity to analyse the data that is being collected in real time to report issues and identify patterns.

The data being collected by the Council will be the most detailed so far collected along the river and should significantly add to our understanding of selected nutrients in the system. Given the sondes will take numerous measurements every hour for an extended time period it will be  far in excess of the measurements taken by NRW. It is anticipated that the monitoring system will hopefully be enhanced when Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water install their monitoring sondes above and below their assets in 2025.