Code of conduct

Water Rangers empowers communities with the tools to understand and care for their local waterways. As an organization serving communities, Water Rangers requires staff and participants to abide by the following code of conduct to protect everyone’s right to feel safe, secure and supported as we work together toward healthier waterways for all.

Guiding principles

1. Water Rangers prioritizes building and improving tools that empower communities

Water Rangers’ tools and resources are built to empower local communities to learn about and take care of their local water bodies. Because the tools are built for non-expert community groups, their design is simple, and language is curated to a grade-5 reading level or lower. At the same time, we prioritize open data so that experts can use data collected in research and decision-making. Our approach is to continuously improve our tools as we have the resources and knowledge to do so.

2. Water Rangers practice “wide-eyed optimism”

“Wide-eyed optimism” asks us to be ambitious about actions that are within our control and that can create some positive momentum forward for our waterways. Our eyes are wide open to the work that needs to be done, but our spotlight is on trying to shift the narrative away from negative and doom. This means Water Rangers prefer movements “for” rather than “against.” In that way, we remain hopeful about changing the future and providing a space for communities to feel empowered to act to protect waterways. We are for collective action for restoration and evidence-informed decision-making!

3. Water Rangers is politically neutral

Water Rangers should not be used in any political message to protect the validity of the data collected and to allow the longevity of the movement. Without political affiliation, we can work toward our greater goal of healthy waterways for all in the long-term.

Those involved in collecting data may be participating in other activities that are not considered politically neutral. In those cases, while facts about data collected using Water Rangers tools can be used, it should not include a recommendation or other affiliation with those messages from Water Rangers and its other volunteers.

This is important: one short-term political message that does not represent the views of the Water Rangers community as a whole could then lead to a lack of trust for all Water Rangers collected data. Please be mindful of your role in maintaining political neutrality for the sake of other participants in your region, country, and beyond. Should you affiliate Water Rangers with a political cause, we reserve the right to remove you from our data platform and ask you to remove any online messages.

Individuals’ responsibilities

1. Staff conduct

Water Rangers’ staff, including facilitators, volunteers, and partners, must:

  • Treat other staff members and participants with respect and dignity;
  • Avoid any activity, comment, or contact that endangers participants or makes them uncomfortable by violating reasonable boundaries;
  • Use photos and other creative works only with permission;
  • Refrain from any activity that may be reasonably regarded as a risk to the security or personal integrity of participants and the non-profit generally.

When working with youth, they must:

  • Establish, respect, and maintain boundaries with all youth participants, including refraining from any communication outside the context of the non-profit’s programming;
  • Consider the final outcomes of any behaviour, as well as youth participants’ reaction to any activities, conversations, or interactions so as to avoid embarrassing, shaming, or humiliating them;
  • Avoid any activity, comment or physical contact that endangers youth participants or makes them uncomfortable by violating reasonable boundaries;
  • Refrain from offering youth participants “special” treatment that falls outside of the non-profits’ mandate, or that may (or may appear to) place them at risk of exploitation;
  • Treat all suspicions or allegations of domestic child abuse or neglect seriously, and report them following established procedures;

2. Participant conduct

Water Rangers ensures safe participation by requiring them to abide by the following rules of conduct:

  • Refrain from any behaviours (actions, remarks, attitudes) that are violent or aggressive in nature;
  • Report to a staff member any behaviour or activity that causes discomfort or suspicion;
  • Avoid all foul, profane, or inappropriate language and behaviour;
  • Maintain safety protocols around water and minimize risk by using life-jackets;
  • Refrain from trespassing or breaking the law in any way while water testing;
  • Refrain from posting inaccurate or false data.

Water Rangers has a zero tolerance policy toward violence: any behaviour deemed violent, including but not limited to physical violence, intimidation, emotional aggression, property damage and bullying, will result in immediate removal from the system. If payments are involved, there is no reimbursement if participants are asked to leave due to violations of the code.

Similarly, to ensure a workplace free of violence and disrespect, Water Rangers reserves the right to refuse service to participants who exhibit hostile behaviours toward any of its employees, including acts of shouting or swearing, harassment, condescension, personal attacks, public humiliation, threats and intimidation.

Finally, to ensure the system remains useful and accurate, Water Rangers reserves the right to remove any data that has demonstrated reasonable doubt to its validity.