At this year’s event, which was held at the Hawaii Nature Center within the Makiki watershed, the students in grades six through 12 rotated through nine instructional stations where they listened to various presentations on enviroscape-modeling, erosion, soil screening, native plant recognition, watershed principles and were taught how to use LaMotte water test kits to analyze water samples from Makiki Stream.
Technical experts from the various participating agencies also provided detailed explanations about water quality and provided GPS equipment training. Simple tests using the Lamont kits included those for dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity (clarity), temperature, phosphates and nitrates. Students used GPS devices to identify specific sampling locations.
Following the water testing students will be able to upload their data to a special section of the World Water Monitoring Day website, which is then added to data collected worldwide. Students can view the results of their work online and compare their findings with other students.
David White, from Punahou School who provided instruction during the event, said he tries to instill in students a sense of responsibility for the water we use each day.
“Water – not only in Hawaii – is a very precious resource,” White told the students. “Protecting the environment and watersheds that provide our water resource in Hawaii is vitality important as we are so far away from all other land masses. Most of the fresh water we use and drink comes from watersheds – just like the one we are standing in today.”
What? No tadpole taste test? You know, one can tell a lot about water quality by how the tadpoles taste. I know a few experts who might be willing to led a hand.