This review considers enhanced approaches to river water quality monitoring in north-western Europe following a series of study visits (11 sites in 7 countries). Based on the evidence gathered, options were identified and evaluated for their suitability to deliver specific water quality monitoring objectives and with a focus on effecting behavioral change. Monitoring programs were diverse, ranging from enhanced grab sampling and laboratory analysis to sub-hourly sampling of multiple parameters and nutrients in autonomous high-specification, bank-side or mobile laboratories. Only one program out of all the cases evaluated could readily identify influences that had produced behavioral change among stakeholders. This was principally because the other programs were focused on top-down policy change or surveillance rather than specifically focused on influencing behavior. Nevertheless, program researchers were clear that stakeholder engagement potential was very high and that the sites acted as important focus points for discussion on water quality issues, and so part of a suite of tools that might ultimately change behavior. This identifies a space where water quality monitoring solutions could be adapted for behavioral change research.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank all scientists and technologists from institutions listed in Table 1 for hosting our visits, and for interesting discussions and site visits. Special thanks to Wendy McKinley, Water Management Unit, Northern Ireland Environment Agency (part of DAERA) for commissioning this study following the publication of the Sustainable Agricultural Land Management Strategy report (https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/sustainable-agricultural-land-management-strategy).
This study was funded by the Department for Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs, Belfast (Project 17/4/07).
Copyright © 2022 Jordan and Cassidy.
- water quality
- behavioral change
- high resolution data