The new AquaWatch Index is a significant advancement in the assessment of water health, which will improve the way we understand, plan and respond to the growing water health crisis. Through continuous monitoring, reporting, and alerts the AquaWatch Index enables better, cutting-edge water management, transforming global freshwater health.
“This index marks a departure from traditional, intermittent water testing methods,” says Abi Croutear-Foy, Chief Growth Officer. “By utilising continuous data to provide a comprehensive view of water health, this tool enables us to see and respond in real time to changing water indicators”.
The introduction of the AquaWatch Index leverages technological innovation to transition from episodic snapshots to a dynamic, full-spectrum understanding of water bodies. This shift is pivotal in managing source waters effectively, ensuring that aquatic environments not only meet regulatory standards but also maintain ecological balance to support diverse life forms.
This new, water quality index provides continuous monitoring, reporting, and alerts. It simplifies complex water quality data into a comprehensive score for easy comparisons and evaluates the impact of water quality on aquatic ecosystems. Ultimately, the index will help people understand and manage water quality more effectively.
“This cutting-edge initiative, developed here in Aotearoa New Zealand, enables an inclusive call to action to improve the health of our fresh water,” says Croutear-Foy. “Together, experts, stakeholders, and communities can access real-time data so that we can plan, assess and strategically improve the health of our waterways, for people and our biodiversity".
At its core, the AquaWatch Index employs a two-tiered scoring system that simplifies the interpretation of water quality measurements. The first tier presents an overall health score on a 1-10 scale, offering an immediate understanding of water suitability for life. This score is derived from the continuous monitoring of key parameters, including Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Temperature, Conductivity, and Turbidity, juxtaposed against thresholds for aquatic health.
The second tier provides a detailed breakdown of each parameter, with scores and a colour gradient that quickly conveys which aspects are affecting water health. This nuanced perspective enables a proactive approach to water management, identifying specific areas for intervention to maintain or improve conditions conducive to swimming and aquatic life.
This fresh approach to water quality monitoring underscores a commitment to environmental stewardship and public health, promising a future where swimmable freshwater bodies are the norm, not the exception.
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