(Funding provided by Ontario150. Thanks Ontario!)

Calling all nature lovers!

As part of Ontario 150, celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by becoming stewards of its water

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Apply to get one of our 17 testkits

You and your community will become citizen scientists and monitor local waterbodies this summer!

Monitoring regularly leads to greater protection of our waterways, both directly and indirectly (learn more about the ‘why’ here). If you love water and want to learn more about water quality, we want to hear from you!

Groups or individuals can apply to become our Community monitors. Over the summer, from April-October, each group will make at least 30 observations and record them on our Water Rangers platform. They will get one of our testkits and will be trained to use it with their community group. We are also aiming to monitor 150 locations, so you may be asked to monitor more than one spot.

Your 30 observations could include

  • Record water quality test, using the kit
  • Report an issue
  • Record wildlife (photos) or invasive species
  • Participate in challenges

(most observations take around 5 minutes to complete)

The kit is portable and contained in this easy-to-carry bag. See below for full kit contents.

You can apply if you…

  • Are a community group or individual
  • Are Ontario-based
  • Have access to a local waterbody
  • Love the environment
  • Want to understand more about water quality!

Examples of community groups include: Community organizations, Lake Associations, Youth Groups, Clubs, informal friend groups, etc.
Check out the application form

More about the program

The kits were designed for both experienced and inexperienced water quality monitorers. Regardless of background, we want to encourage more water lovers to become stewards of Ontario’s waterways. Canadians are proud of our fresh water, and so we want to give more people the chance to learn about and protect this precious resource. We have 17 kits, since it’s 2017, and we will be aiming to monitor 150 locations for Canada’s 150th birthday!

Fifteen kits will go to community groups throughout Ontario, who will have a group champion trained on our protocols. The last two will be for individuals without a group, who want to try out water testing. Everyone will also have access to online training and a field guide with instructions on how to conduct tests within their kit.

Important dates

  • Monday, March 13 at 5pm EST: Deadline to apply.
  • Tuesday, March 14: Find out if your group has been chosen!
  • Wednesday March 22 5:30pm-8:30pm: Attend a celebration for World Water Day in Ottawa. Get your kit, get trained, sign up for Water Rangers and enjoy a party while learning about water! The event is open to everyone… register now as space is limited: World Water Day Event
  • End of April/May until October: Depending on when you can get out (sometimes the ice doesn’t melt until May!), you and your group will test throughout the summer. Each month, you’ll be encouraged to participate in an effort to create a snapshot of your area through water testing. You will also have opportunities to participate in community challenges and earn prizes!

Apply now!

You’ll become part of a bigger network of Water Stewards

We want you to benefit from their expertise and help them better protect our waterways.

Near the Ottawa River? Meet the Riverkeeper!

Any group or individual who is in the Ottawa River Watershed could become a Riverwatch member as part of our partnership with the Ottawa Riverkeeper. They will be able to support you throughout your testing, solve problems with you, and you’ll become part of a huge network of river-lovers.

Also on your side, the conservation authorities!

We have partnerships with Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) and Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA). We are looking at partnerships with other Ontario-based conservation authorities too, so we can get you the help you need in case of big problems.

In another part of Ontario?

That’s not a problem– we can help you connect you to local organizations that can give you on-the-ground support as needed.

What if I’m not in Ontario?

Unfortunately this program is for Ontario residents. We wish we could give every group a kit because we believe that by learning about water, we all become more passionate about protecting it. These 17 kits are only available to groups and individuals in Ontario since it was funded by Ontario150. But, if you’re in another area, you can buy a kit, or apply anyway and we will keep you in mind for a time when we get funding you qualify for.

If you or your organization are looking to write a grant to get some testkits, let us know and we can help!

Want to know more?

If you have any further questions about this program or anything we’re doing please contact us. We’ll be happy to help!

Each kit contains…

  • Thermometer (air temperature)
  • Secchi disc (water clarity, water depth)
  • Test strips (pH, alkalinity, hardness; learn more here)
  • Conductivity meter (conductivity, water temperature)
  • CHEMet Dissolved Oxygen test
  • Sample container
  • Field sheets
  • Waterproof phone case
  • Whirly bags
  • ‘Suspect pollution’ collection kit
  • Field guide
  • A few kits contain an inexpensive phone.

Explore the kit

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