Why water testing?

For us, water testing is important for two main reasons.

1. Testing leads to connection.

Let’s face it- modern society can be busy, complicated, and confusing. This is probably why, even though most Canadians say they care about water, many do not participate in its stewardship.

The solution? Testing with Water Rangers! Time and time again, we find that when people learn about and then test the water, they feel motivated to protect it. Now more than ever, we need more people to get involved with environmental stewardship, and testing is a great way to encourage this!

People often remark that testing:

  • Encourages them to visit new beaches or lakes
  • Helps them notice new things about their surroundings, such as pollution
  • Leads to a greater appreciation for wildlife
  • Prompts them to think about what else they can do to help

We’re so sure about the transformative power of testing because we see the fruit of it every day, but also because we conduct formal and informal research on it. Learn more about our research here.

Learn, test, act.

Our Theory of Change states that when people learn about, then test water, they are prompted to take action to protect it. 

Learn more about the research that informs our Theory of Change here.

2. Water quality data is desperately needed.

Massive gaps in water quality data exist in Canada and beyond, which is extremely worrisome. After all, how can our leaders be expected to make good decisions for water if they don’t know how well it’s doing in the first place?

Unfortunately, there aren’t enough scientists and professionals on the ground who can consistently monitor all of the world’s water bodies. That’s where testers like you come in! We don’t aim to replace scientists, but we do want to lend a helping hand. By working together, we can accomplish so much more.

Starting in 2021, we’re also working on a data-sharing project with the Gordon Foundation’s DataStream. This project facilitates data sharing with an automated data exchange between our two platforms, with an initial focus on water data in the Great Lakes region.

In other words, when you add your data to Water Rangers, you’ll also have the option to share your data with DataStream. This will allow your data to reach even more people including scientists and decision-makers!

Find out if your area is data deficient.

We frequently consult WWF-Canada’s Watershed Reports to determine how the water in any given area is doing. We encourage you to check them out, too!

Partnership FAQs

That’s a great initiative! We’re always happy to partner with organizations, non-profits, schools, etc. to co-write a grant proposal to set up citizen monitoring programs. We’ve had good success in the past, but of course, we can’t guarantee anything. We’ve also prepared this fundraising toolkit to help groups think about how they want to set up their program.

We are always looking to partner with new or established organizations! We have launched a program that allows you to generate revenue for your organization while helping to grow the sustainable water monitoring movement. Take a look at our Ambassador Program to learn more!

Volunteering FAQs

Amazing! We always encourage people to start testing the water in what ever way is available to them! You can get one of our testkits or you can start gathering other data with equipment you have on hand. Your eyes are your best tool! You can go observe:

  • The water and the shoreline
  • Animals, plants, and fish you see
  • Does the water level look low, normal or high?
  • If you have a thermometer, you can easily measure the air and water temperature and record that as well.

You can also reach out to local environmental groups and see how they’re testing the water and ask if they need help.

That’s great! We’re always looking for more stories for our blog. You can contact us, make sure to tell us your story and we’ll be in touch! Other than sharing stories on our blog, we also like to feature stories on our social media accounts, so please send pictures, too!

We love partnering with knowledgeable people that have something to share with our community. Reach out to us and let’s discuss it more! We can work on making a short video explaining a certain water parameter that you test for together, or write something for our blog.

Since starting the testing, I have found that I am noticing the surrounding nature so much more every time I go outside. Who looks in the ditch for flowers?? Well, now I do! I've also started to look for and find animal tracks and signs of insects. I managed to find some pretty neat looking bird tracks on the sandy beaches and have been hearing all kinds of birds that still remain elusive.

Jessica, City of Ottawa Scavenger Hunt participant