The 4-H Alabama Water Watch (AWW) Program is a citizen-science program with the goal of providing opportunities for youth in Alabama to participate in watershed stewardship through water quality monitoring.
4-H AWW was created through a partnership of Alabama Water Watch, the statewide volunteer water quality monitoring and Alabama 4-H. Program staff train teachers, 4-H staff, informal educators, and volunteers to utilize a science-based, hands-on curriculum to increase young people’s knowledge and awareness of environmental issues, develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills related to water quality, and provide an avenue for youth to become actively involved in watershed stewardship.
Youth who are involved with this program have the opportunity to:
Detect levels of E.coli and other coliform bacteria in water as indicators of contamination. Determine if water is safe for drinking, swimming and aquatic life.
Test physical and chemical characteristics of water to determine pollution sources and long-term trends in water quality. Six variables are measured with a customized test kit, and results can be compared with water quality standards that define conditions for healthy waterbodies. The six variables tested are pH, Hardness, Alkalinity, Air and Water Temperature, Dissolved Oxygen, and Turbidity.
Assess stream health using "aquatic bugs" (macroinvertebrates) as water pollution indicators. Training combines the use of field collections and an environmental game that simulates a stream bioassessment.
Adults must complete all required 4-H AWW and 4-H Volunteer training in order to become a 4-H AWW Educators.
Students who complete training through a participating 4-H AWW classroom, club, or individual study can become certified 4-H AWW Water Monitors.
Contact the Program Coordinator in the AWW Office (firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-844-4785) for more information.