DOI: 10.3390/hydrology11010006 ISSN: 2306-5338

Assessing the Performance of a Citizen Science Based Water Quality Monitoring Program for Nitrates Using Test Strips Implemented in the Medjerda Hydrosystem in Northern Tunisia

Safa Chaabane, Khalifa Riahi, Slaheddine Khlifi, Emna Slama, Marnik Vanclooster
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Oceanography

Recent technological progress in water management of hydrosystems has been made to deploy efficient and effective water quality monitoring systems (WQMS). Among these, a citizen science (CS)-based water quality monitoring (WQM) program using test strips is considered as a smart tool that may aid in the production of reliable, continuous, and comprehensive data on the water quality resources of hydrosystems over a broad range of spatial and temporal scales. In this case study, the objective is to evaluate the performance of a CS-based WQM for nitrates assessment using test water quality strips for the Medjerda watershed in Northern Tunisia. Overall, 137 samples were collected from 24 sampling sites and were analyzed by 33 participants. Citizens involved in the program were regrouped in five citizen types according to their socio-economic characteristics. Statistical tests, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multiple correspondence analyses (MCA) were achieved to survey the goodness of fit of CS as a contribution to data collection in terms of the socio-economic profile of the participant. The results show that this tool could be reliable for obtaining the levels of nitrate in water samples. Water quality test trips can conveniently be used by citizens for WQM of nitrates when they are rigorously following the manufacturer’s instructions. Additional efforts in communication and training could help to improve the performance of this CS-WQM program for nitrate in the Medjerda watershed.

More from our Archive