A note that the Esmee funding is development funding only, so they are unlikely to fund an extensive programme of chemical monitoring. WWRT position with chemical analysis citizen science is that there is a wealth of data that either currently exists (in WFD & SAGIS) or is planned (full CSO monitoring) and is trusted by NRW/DCWW, and they are reluctant to spend funds on monitoring that isn’t supported by these organisations – both because these funds could potentially be better spent on addressing the issues and also because they do not want to waste community time, efforts and interest in data that is not going to be used (as they have previous experience of).
WWRT current preference is for visual monitoring of outfalls (such as under the Outfall Safari model) – both sewerage and other surface water drains. Not only are photos and videos more effective in highlighting the issue from a community level, but it also provides them with important data on when outfalls are releasing when they shouldn’t be, which can be compare to DCWW records. There is some value in chemical water quality monitoring with citizen science – but they think this is limited to when funding is available for a specific failing river catchment, to help to prioritise where interventions are most needed (i.e. agricultural pollution or urban point source inputs).
There is clearly a national interest for citizen science and a great community for this with Save the Teifi. WWRT aim is to bid for a project along the lines of developing a model for effective citizen science that targets efforts for the greatest benefits, including take-up by government bodies and water companies.