The Almere water assessment project (‘Almere meet water’) is a citizen science project aimed at raising general awareness of the city’s relationship with water. The client – the Municipality of Almere – hopes the project will generate data with a clear value, and that it will help shape and direct Almere’s efforts to become a multi-faceted and enterprising water-based city.
The project has been structured into three components that residents can participate in:
- Almere water quality assessment, focused on recreational areas;
- Almere water experience assessment, focused on the facilities people want;
- Almere street water assessment, focused on flooding
The project team will be collecting data from residents over a period of around 6 months. Participants will be recruited through a PR campaign. They will be given a special measuring kit to use, with information and instructions.
A range of stakeholders were interviewed as part of the preparations, to ensure that the data gathered would be of an appropriate standard. Their feedback was included in the study design.
As soon as participants upload their data, it will be made available on www.almeremeetwater.nl, added to the map of measurement sites. Participants can use various filters to search the data. Every week, the project team will check the uploads to identify any unreliable data and to ensure accuracy. The results will be analysed regularly by the project team, with news stories about the findings added to the website.
The research will deliver a large dataset spanning the whole physical area of Almere, and lasting the entire duration of the water-based recreation season. This will provide the municipality, water authority and citizens with a clearer picture of water quality and urban water use. The project is part of the Almere Water Plan, which provides the basis for the municipality and water authority to make decisions about changes to facilities in the vicinity of or actually in the water itself, or to regulations aimed at preventing flooding or pollution.
The project will also be facilitating interaction between citizens, the municipality and the water authority.
WENR is taking an overall lead on the project, based on previous experience in citizen science, including the Clean Water experiment in Amsterdam.
This project is a collaboration between the residents of Almere, the Municipality of Almere, the Zuiderzeeland Regional Water Authority, the artist Pavèl van Houten, the Deltares and Wageningen Environmental Research (WENR) research institutes, the Almere City and Nature Foundation, and the Almere Water Mayor. The project is part of the Almere Water Plan.
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