Conservation group Water Rangers enables citizens to test local water quality with free portable kits | WWF-Canada

Conservation group Water Rangers enables citizens to test local water quality with free portable kits

Posted on 23 July 2019
Testing conductivity in an urban stream.
© Cassidy Swanston
TORONTO – Through the Loblaw Water Fund, WWF-Canada is supporting a citizen-science research project by Ottawa-based conservation organization Water Rangers to monitor the quality of Canada’s water bodies. 

Water Rangers has developed an easy-to-use portable water-testing kit that allows anyone from kids to senior citizens to monitor water quality in different water bodies, regardless of experience.  

Canada is home to thousands of lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands, and many of these water bodies need our help to become and remain healthy. 

“We’ll never get this testing done unless it’s easy for Canadians to get involved, collect data and connect to the water,” says Water Rangers founder and executive director, Kat Kavanagh.  

“When I looked for ways to test the water at my cottage, I wasn’t happy with the equipment that was available. Much of it was expensive and difficult to use,” she says. “But we’re making a kit available for first-time users who don’t have a science background like campers, cottagers and community groups.” 

After reserving a kit online and collecting it from a host in their area, citizen scientists watch a short instructional video then get out on the water. Once they collect the data with the included equipment, they can add the information to an online data platform using a smartphone app. 

The kits can be borrowed free of charge in the following cities: Ottawa, Toronto, Montréal, Cornwall and Prince Edward County. (Kits can also be purchased from WaterRangers.ca.) 

“WWF-Canada’s Watershed Reports tell us we don't have enough data to understand the health of our water,” says Elizabeth Hendriks, VP of Freshwater at WWF-Canada. “By supporting Water Rangers through the Loblaw Water Fund, we’re engaging people. Good things happen when we all take care of our water.”   

For media interviews with spokesperson:  
Kat Kavanagh  
613-899-4943 
kat@waterrangers.ca 

NOTE: Photos and B-roll are available.  

Additional information about the Loblaw Water Fund: 
Over the past five years, the fund has supported over 60 projects across the country. Results from those projects include:  
  • Over 3340 hectares of habitat for freshwater species restored 
  • Planting of over 80,000 native trees and plants 
  • More than 16,000 volunteers engaged in conservation efforts for their local rivers and lakes 

WWF-Canada contact: 
Tina Knezevic 
Communications specialist, WWF-Canada 
tknezevic@wwfcanada.org 
Testing conductivity in an urban stream.
© Cassidy Swanston Enlarge