Volunteers sought for KCCA’s water monitoring program
For immediate release
St. Thomas – Kettle Creek Conservation Authority (KCCA) is recruiting volunteer observers to collect and share precipitation data with KCCA using the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS).
“This is an easy and fun way to collect environmental data that is important for the whole watershed,” says Jennifer Dow, KCCA’s water conservation supervisor. “Monitoring precipitation is a key component of flood forecasting and this volunteer program is a great way to utilize our local weather watchers.”
Volunteer observers will receive a specialized rain gauge to set up at home or their place of work. KCCA will provide all the necessary training including how to submit daily log results to the CoCoRaHS web site. “We have some priority areas where we would like to see gauges,” says Dow. “But, really as long as you have property in the watershed and are able to collect and submit the data we want to hear from you.”
Climate change is creating more frequent and serious flood events, which are expected to increase over time. Expanding the rain gauge network will improve KCCA’s ability to forecast flood events and capture the spatial nature of rain events that affect the watershed. Over time, flood forecasting staff have noticed “data gaps or holes” in the precipitation network across the watershed where there are no monitoring stations or gauges. Authority staff will be able to incorporate precipitation data into future hydrologic modelling to obtain a better understanding of how water moves and flows through the watershed and to track changes over time through improved floodplain mapping.
As a value add, KCCA will be able to easily share the data collected with the community through the CoCoRaHS website at https://cocorahs.org/Canada.aspx. “Right now, the data available in the Kettle Creek watershed is very limited. Having more information is valuable to KCCA and our community for a variety of reasons,” says Dow. It is an easy way to access information if you are organizing your crop season, planting your garden or planning a local fishing trip. “Maybe you have a classroom of young, budding scientists who could benefit from a “real-world” applicaton of scientific data collection,” says Dow. “This is an easy way to get started.”
The professional grade rain gauges provided for the program were purchased through funding provided by the RBC Foundation.
Those interested in participating in real hands-on science and making a difference in the watershed can apply online at www.kettlecreekconservation.on.ca or by contacting Jennifer Dow, Water Conservation Supervisor at 519-631-1270 ext. 228
Public Relations Supervisor
Funding for this program provided by: