Why Volunteer

Through the monitoring of groundwater, volunteers learn how the quantity and quality of our groundwater resources are affected by natural events and human actions.  Volunteers learn how groundwater and surface waters interact, and they learn how to can protect their water resources. Water data collected by volunteers is time and cost efficient.  Without volunteers, many water bodies, including aquifers, would be under-monitored or completely unmonitored.  Volunteer monitoring programs in Florida, and other state, have demonstrated that data derived from volunteers, if obtained appropriately, can be as reliable as data obtained by professionals.

At least two universities have evaluated the reasons why people participate in volunteer monitoring activities.  In a joint venture between the University of Rhode Island and the University of Wisconsin 334 people were surveyed as to why they volunteered.  Some of the most important reasons were:

  • To educate themselves about water,
  • To detect early warnings of changes,
  • To provide insight into the causes of water-related issues,
  • To help resolve water-related issues,
  • To learn about a specific water body (including aquifers),
  • To give back to society, and
  • To be outside in nature

In addition, from the perspective of colleges and universities, volunteer monitoring:

  • Creates two-way communication between the educational institution and the public,
  • Heighten visibility and credibility of educational programs,
  • Builds strong community partnerships,
  • Motivates citizens for water management and protection,
  • Involves a broad spectrum of the community, and
  • Enables communities to make informed decisions regarding their water resources

With all of these advantages, AquiferWatch and LAKEWATCH encourage you to get involved.