American Univesity of Beirut

 Test the Water


 Citizen Driven Water Quality Monitoring and Remediation

  • Background
Recent findings indicate Lebanon is currently facing water quality (WQ) contamination at an unprecedented and concerning scale (Lebanon Crisis Response Plan, 2017-2020). The most widespread contamination of water resources in Lebanon is driven by the following issues of primary public concern; 1) lack of wastewater treatment (only 8 percent of wastewater is treated before disposal), 2) agricultural runoff (recent testing on select boreholes in Beqaa Valley found nitrate levels at more than 10 times the WHO safe limit), and 3) saltwater intrusion in coastal areas (salinity of some domestic supply wells in Beirut is close to that of seawater). 

  • Description
The proposed project, Test the Water (TTW), brings forward an innovative process to turn the tide on responding to water quality contamination. TTW draws on sustained expert support, digital tools, and more robust citizen WQ testing in a participatory approach to widely assessing and remediating the social, technical, and management issues behind poor WQ. 

TTW is based in an action oriented citizen science process which encourages the intervention of laypersons in local concerns using scientific research and co-creation workshops as tools to build self efficacy and collective efficacy in advancing short term and long term solutions using evidence collected with and for citizens (Wiggins and Crowston, 2011). 

TTW’s approach builds practical and personalized community knowledge on science that can be used in daily lives while giving citizens a personal stake in remediating contamination that was previously considered out of hand (Conrad and Hilc​hey, 2011; Fore et al., 2001). 

TTW will be facilitated by a first of its kind digital platform, water quality test kits, and solution co-creation workshops. 

TTW is designed to make the complexities of improving WQ easier and the drive for remediation stronger by using science and a participatory approach as tools for all people to better understand and apply evidence to improve their wellbeing.

  • Expert Team

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