AWW accomplishments in 2012, though far from record-setting, were stable relative to the previous year in spite of limited funding for the program. AWW’s efforts date back to 1992, when ADEM provided funding to the AU Department of Fisheries for the establishment of a statewide volunteer monitoring program. Early accomplishments focused on compilation of science-based protocols for monitoring water quality that were doable by citizen volunteer monitors and rigorous enough to yield credible water data. Program Director, Bill Deutsch, had the foresight to go the extra mile and put forth considerable effort to compile and submit quality assurance plans for AWW water monitoring protocols to the EPA. The end results are EPA-approved water monitoring protocols used by all AWW-certified monitors throughout Alabama, and more importantly, the generation of credible water data that is being used in a myriad of applications, from formal and informal education, to waterbody protection and restoration, to improvements in local and statewide water management and policy.
Through frugal use of funds and leveraging of efforts of related water stewardship projects, Deutsch has been able to maintain a newer, leaner statewide volunteer water monitoring program in the face of limted program funding. Take a look at AWW’s 2012 accomplishments and seriously consider what you can do to be a part of the evolving AWW program.