PRESS RELEASE | Smartphone App and Citizen Science Program Helping Protect Arizona Waterways Wins National Award for Innovation

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Water Watch Mobile App and Citizen Science Program was awarded a State Innovation Award by the Environmental Council of States (ECOS). Smartphone users can download and open the app to easily submit photos and data for any stream, wash, river or lake in the state within a few minutes. Volunteers can also learn to gather water samples with training from ADEQ. These additional data are used by ADEQ scientists to update flow patterns, address water quality issues and identify waterbodies for future studies.

Arizona Water Watch Mobile App Webpage | View  >

Arizona Water Watch Citizen Science Water Monitoring Webpage | View >

ECOS works to improve the capability of state environmental agencies and their leaders to protect and improve human health and the environment of the United States. The ECOS State Innovation Award recognizes outstanding state initiatives that can serve as replicable models for other states. Voting live at the ECOS Fall Meeting in Stowe, Vermont, attendees viewed video submissions and selected four winners from Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut and Colorado.

ADEQ Arizona Water Watch Award Video | View >

“Smartphones have changed the way we gather information in our everyday lives,” said ADEQ Director Misael Cabrera. “By leveraging this technology and creating a vibrant citizen science program to include the public in our efforts to protect water quality, thousands of data points in both urban and remote areas of the state have already been submitted. We are honored by this recognition by ECOS members and are encouraged that other states may soon use our innovation to expand protection of their waterways.”

As Arizona gears up for more rain this weekend, ADEQ encourages people to download the Arizona Water Watch App and safely submit their observations as water drains from the mountains to the desert. At the touch of a fingertip on their Smartphone, anyone can become a Citizen Scientist, collaborating with ADEQ to expand our knowledge of the state’s waterways. After verification, data are plotted on an interactive GIS map of the entire state. The Arizona Water Watch Mobile App can be used even when out of range of cell phone service, as is common in the more remote areas of Arizona. Data are sent automatically to ADEQ when the phone returns to a service area.

Resources

Arizona Water Watch Mobile App User Guide | View >

Arizona Water Watch Program Webpage | View >

Contact

ADEQ Public Information Officer | E-mail > | 602-771-2215 (office) | 602-540-8072 (cell)