State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2012ME282B
Title: Improving Data to Build Trust for Community Generated Knowledge of Groundwater
Project Type: Information Transfer
Start Date: 3/01/2012
End Date: 2/28/2013
Congressional District: 2
Focus Categories: Water Quality, Education, Methods
Keywords: private well, citizen-science, data quality
Principal Investigator: Peckenham, John (University of Maine)
Federal Funds: $ 1,600
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 8,932
Abstract: The Groundwater Education Through Water Evaluation and Testing (GET WET!) project works with students in grades 5 to 12 to study drinking water quality. This project is designed for rural communities where most homes are served by private wells. The students analyze their own water in the classroom. The results are used to map water quality in the community and also to encourage families to test their drinking water. Although the data generate serve useful purposes for education and community engagement, broader acceptance and trust of the results remain elusive. In this project we have three goals: (1) test different analytical methods that can be used in the classroom to generate better quality results; (2) analyze student results to determine sources of error in the classroom analyses; and (3) establish a project quality assurance plan to increase trust in student data by professionals and regulators.

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