UPDATE: SE Drought is Slowly Receding (more info below)
What is a “Flash” Drought?
A flash drought is the rapid onset of drought. While conventional drought is mainly driven by a lack of precipitation, flash drought is often caused by a combination of abnormally high temperatures, winds, and/or incoming radiation that leads to abnormally high evapotranspiration rates (read more). After enduring one of the hottest and driest Septembers on record, Alabama and the vast majority of the Southeast are currently in flash drought conditions.
If you are a certified AWW monitor and need some help to get started monitoring at an orphaned site or a new site, in the form of a water chemistry test kit, water chemistry reagents to refill an existing kit, or bacteria supplies, this mini-grant program is for you!
Please remember to check your certification status on your AWW Welcome Page periodically. We place a great importance on the credibility of AWW data, and one way to ensure credible results is to keep all of our monitor’s certifications up to date!
Q: How often do you need to recertify?
If you have recently attended an AWW workshop for your first certification, you will need to RECERTIFY about one year after the workshop. For volunteers who were recertified recently, you will need to recertify again in two years.
Q: What happens during recertification?
The recertification process simply involves you completing the sampling process (for Water Chemistry this means the collection of all 6 parameters – air and water temp, pH, hardness, alkalinity, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity) and filling out the corresponding monitoring datasheet in the company of an AWW staff member or a Volunteer Trainer.
Q: How do I check my certification status?
The red, yellow, and green dots to the left of the monitoring type relate to your status as an active monitor with AWW and serve as reminders to recertify.
A green dot means your “active” status is good for three or more months. A yellow dot means your recertification date is approaching, and you need to consider contacting the AWW Office or a Volunteer Trainer about recertification options soon. A red dot means your certification in that type of monitoring is past due and you need to get recertified as soon as possible.
When your certification in a monitoring method expires, you will not be able to select that data entry type unless you click the bottom next to “I will recertify within six months.” When you click this button, a message is sent to the AWW Office to notify us that you need recertification. Once we receive this message, we will get in contact with you to discuss options for recertification.
Don’t enter data online? No problem!
If you do not enter data online and send data via mail or email to the Alabama Water Watch Office, we will send you an email when we receive your data to let you know you need recertification.
You can contact the AWW Office at any time for information on your certification status.
As always, thank you to our volunteer monitors for all you do for Alabama Water Watch!
Alabama Water Watch, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, is excited to announce the launch of a new water quality monitoring project in the National Forests in Alabama!
This project’s goal is to promote citizens to discover the national forests in Alabama…by monitoring their waters! Volunteer citizens will gather water chemistry and bacteriological monitoring data on select stream locations within the National Forest in Alabama.
Three, 2-day water quality monitoring workshops will be held in January through February 2020 for the Tuskegee, Bankhead, and Conecuh National Forests.
Each workshop will cover information related to the water environment, forests and watershed health, pollution, and water quality standards. Workshop participants will be trained and certified in AWW Water Chemistry and Bacteriological Monitoring. During Day 2 of each workshop, participants will head outdoors to conduct monitoring practices and visit pre-selected monitoring sites on the National Forests.
Workshop Dates and Locations
Bankhead National Forest – January 22 & 23 @ Double Springs Municipal Building in Double Springs, AL
Tuskegee National Forest – February 7 & 8 @ CASIC Building; Auburn University Research Park in Auburn, AL
Conecuh National Forest – February 19 & 20 @ Covington County Extension Office in Andalusia, AL
UPDATE: Free stakeholder meeting during 10th US Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) symposium on November 6th. (More info below)
Dr. Alan Wilson is a professor in Auburn University’s School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences in the College of Agriculture. Dr. Wilson has offered his thoughts on recent news stories of pet deaths related to poor water quality, specifically freshwater algal blooms.