Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
A REVIEW OF CITIZEN-SCIENCE WATER QUALITY MONITORING INITIATIVES IN THE UPPER SUSQUEHANNA BASIN
The exploration for and production of unconventional natural gas in the Appalachian Basin has increased the number of water quality monitoring activities in the area, by both Governments and private citizens. Such Citizen Science monitoring uses volunteers to collect data by river sampling and simple wet chemical tests, occasionally with the express aim of detecting pollution from drilling activities. This paper reviews several such programs in terms of their sampling and analysis methods, spatial and temporal resolution, and quality control. It uses multivariate statistics to test the published data for validity, and draws conclusions on the effectiveness of the programs. While the programs productively harness a surge in public interest, in both science in general and hydraulic-fracturing in particular, they are less effective at being able to detect discrete pollution incidents. Their main advantage is in providing baseline water quality data with a relatively high temporal frequency, albeit with limited parameters, and in educating lay persons in catchment science.