Monthly Archives: March 2014

The following post by GWW founder Dr. Bill Deutsch is so touching that I decided to post it here for those who have not read it in the Alabama Water Watch blog. Enjoy it!

Neither Rain, nor Snow, nor Dark of Night…

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by Bill Deutsch

January 29, 2014…OK, so I procrastinated in my monthly monitoring of Hodnett and Saugahatchee Creeks in Lee County (Tallapoosa River Watershed).  Because the last day of the month was not an option, I was left with three choices: a) sample today with snow on the ground, b) wait until tomorrow after temperatures are forecasted to plunge to 13 F overnight, or c) the “unthinkable” … skip sampling in January.  Trudging through the snow for the first time in 15 years of monthly sampling of Hodnett Creek was fun, and my old Border Collie, Jazz, accompanied me to make sure I didn’t get lost (I made sure she drank out of the creek downstream of where I monitored!). Air temperatures hovered around 1 C, but the water was a toasty 4 C at both sites (record low for my data).


AWW Director, Bill Deutsch, and companion Jazz monitor hardness of Hodnett Creek

AWW Director, Bill Deutsch, and companion Jazz monitor hardness of Hodnett Creek

Most of Alabama’s streams, including mine, are back to good flow after a year of seasonable rains, and Hodnett Creek had near-zero turbidity, thanks to those filtering Coastal Plain sandy soils and good vegetative cover in the watershed. We water monitors get to see the full range of conditions, from those steamy late summer outings to today’s adventure. And great news: AWW ended 2013 with 68 active groups statewide! What a tribute to the dedication of monitoring and stewardship that certified AWW volunteers have continued to demonstrate. Check out our long list of workshop opportunities in 2014 and register online or by calling our office toll-free as part of your (belated?) New Year’s resolutions!

GWW launches CBWM in Argentina

GWW~CBWS Workshops in Argentina

The first Community-Based Watershed Stewardship (CBWS) training workshops were held in Argentina in December of 2013. This was in response to several years of communications between Global Water Watch (GWW) and Argentinean partners that resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2013 between GWW and the Environmental Protection Agency of the Santa Fe Province in Argentina (SMA). Initial goals include the establishment of a citizen-based water monitoring program in the Río Carcarañá. This river and its watershed are of great importance to Argentina and was added to the Natural Protected Areas system (Dcto. Pcial. 1579) in 2012; and the SMA as well as residents have increased interest in its protection. The river begins in the neighbor province of Córdoba, flows into Santa Fe and the Coronda river before empties into the great Paraná river.

The three-day CBWS workshop with certification in bacteriological and water chemistry monitoring was conducted for 25 people that plan to conduct water chemistry monitoring in at least eight sites in the Carcarañá River, two in each one of the participating communities, and identify additional sites in 2014 as needed. Bacteriological monitoring will wait until monitoring supplies are secured and more likely provided by the Secretary of Environment. Click here to read more about this project.

Beekeeping and River Protection components of CBWS in Kenya

Beekeeping and River Protection in Kenya

A new project of Global Water Watch and the Green Belt Movement in Kenya is finding innovative ways to link honey production with improved nutrition, higher incomes, community development, and river protection. In 2012, the Green Belt Movement (GBM) in Kenya contacted GWW through the Sub-Saharan Africa Program Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. GBM is a nongovernmental organization founded by Wangari Maathai, a woman who grew up in the Central Highlands of Kenya near snow-capped Mt. Kenya who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.Beekeeping builds community solidarity and economic stability that allows people to consider other activities, including community service and volunteerism. As learned in previous GWW projects, livelihood activities integrated with watershed stewardship programs “create space” for water monitoring. A steady flow of high-quality honey can net a Kenyan farmer a much greater income than most other agricultural crops that the farmer can produce.

Keeping the riparian zone in natural vegetation and trees provides a biodiverse area where some plants are flowering year-round to provide a continuous supply of nectar and pollen for bees. These eco-friendly zones filter polluted runoff before it enters streams. Streamside vegetation traps sediments, excess nutrients, and pathogens; provides important habitats for wildlife; and helps maintain both water quality and quantity. Bees do their part by pollinating plants of this area and serving as “watchdogs” for potentially destructive livestock or people.

After launching field activities of the GWW–GBM watershed project in October 2013, it became clear that local people enthusiastically embraced the concept of “citizen science” and water monitoring, and have new attitudes and skills regarding their health and that of the environment and their bees. The goal of many Kenyan beekeepers is to expand their market and income, and this would be greatly enhanced by achieving a government-certified label that ensures honey purity, organic production, and sustainable practices that protect and improve the environment and communities.

International travel expenses, beekeeping supplies and equipment distributed to the community members in Kenya, were funded by the Jack and Mary Tankersley Edowment to the Auburn University School of Fisheries for community development projects to benefit underserved people worldwide.