IDAH2O is a program to train citizen volunteers about regional water quality issues in the state of Idaho. Once a volunteer becomes a certified Master Water Steward, they then adopt a stream location to conduct regular monitoring on. Monitoring includes habitat, biological, chemical and physical assessments. All data collected from the Stewards is uploaded to a Web site that is made publicly available.
The main focus of the program is to educate citizens on the status of their water quality and to help them understand the effects on streams, rivers and lakes. Youth involvement is also strongly encouraged. The data that is collected may also someday assist agencies in establishing water quality standards and priorities.
To become a certified IDAH2O Master Water Steward, you must attend an 8-hour workshop. Workshops are daylong indoor and outdoor sessions that cover a wide variety of topics, such as starting a monitoring plan and how to network with local citizens interested in water quality. The program is offered through University of Idaho Extension to provide a unique opportunity to learn about and document regional water issues.
IDAH2O is one of many citizen science projects available via the new CitizenScience.gov site, which the White House launched at its 6th White House Science Fair on April 14, 2016. CitizenScience.gov will serve as a new hub for citizen science and crowdsourcing initiatives in the public sector.