ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 24, 2014) – World Water Day 2014 marked the start of this year’s monitoring period for World Water Monitoring Challenge (WWMC)—an international outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world. From March 22 through Dec. 31, thousands of people worldwide are expected to connect with and monitor their local water bodies through a series of simple, hands-on tests.

Coordinated by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA), WWMC grew out of the original World Water Monitoring Day program in 2012. While an official day continues to be observed each year on Sept. 18, the broader challenge encourages people everywhere to test the quality of their waterways, share their findings and do their part to help protect this essential resource.

“Everyone who uses water is responsible for it in one way or another. Yet, many of us are unaware of the condition of our local water bodies and the direct and indirect impacts our actions have on the quality of these resources,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “The WWMC provides a fun and easy way to engage and learn about some of the most common indicators of water health and encourages further participation in more formal citizen monitoring efforts.”

The program receives financial and in-kind support from its primary sponsors and enjoys the support of many partner organizations and individuals around the world. WWMC data is entered online and the 2013 results are currently being tabulated for release at a later date.

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization representing water quality professionals around the world.

The International Water Association (IWA) is a global network of water professionals that spans the continuum between research and practice, covering all facets of the water cycle.