Improving India and London’s water quality and environment
Water quality monitoring in India and London will be locally improved in an effort by the researchers from the University of Warwick, who will partner with NGOs Thames21 and Earth5R to identify and co-develop citizen science methodologies to address both London and Mumbai’s water quality challenges. The £19,915 grant from the UKRI Citizen Science Exploration Grant is one of 53 projects, worth £1.4m to get funding, and will enable members of the public in India and London to actively contribute to a research and innovation project looking at water quality in their area.
Currently, 70% of India’s water is contaminated according to the government think-tank report in June 2018. Whilst different in severity and scale the UK also suffers from poor water management and a lack of community responsibility in water stewardship, only 14% of rivers in England are considered to be at Good Ecological Status within the Water Framework Directive. However, this new grant will give both the UK and India community’s the opportunity to share international perspectives on water quality and generate data to inform research and target solutions.
Researchers from the University of Warwick will work with the London NGO Thames21 (who have expertise in delivering environmental pollution management through community citizen science initiatives) and Indian NGO Earth5R to explore existing research into water quality and evaluate how citizen science methods can be complimentarily applied to the context of both the UK and India.
The original PATHWAYS project by the School of Engineering at the University of Warwick developed a programme that investigated water quality characteristics paying special attention to the relationship between a number of critical parameters including physical, chemical and biological variables in four flow domains: rivers, lakes and wetlands and near-shore in the Ulhas River (Mumbai Metropolitan Region, India) and Thane Creek Catchment.
Using the grant for the citizen science approach, they can co-create efficient, user-friendly water monitoring strategies and systems based on innovative technologies, providing authorities, communities and other end-users with real-time pollution data. This data will be used to practically translate the science developed from PATHWAYs into useable solutions for communities at risk of water pollution.