What is CrowdWater?

CrowdWater is a SNF-funded project at the University of ZurichDepartment of GeographyUnit Hydrology & Climate.

The CrowdWater project is investigating how the public can be involved in the collection of hydrological data, as well as what value the collected data can have for hydrological forecasts. For this, CrowdWater relies on the support of voluntary participants: It is a citizen science project. The long-term goal of the project is to collect a large number of observations and thus improve the prediction of hydrological events such as drought or flooding.

To reach these goals, the CrowdWater app is used to collect data in various categories:

  • Water level data with physical and virtual staff gauges
  • Qualitative data on soil moisture
  • Data on the dynamics of temporary streams
  • Data on the documentation of plastic pollution in and around water bodies
  • General data on various watercourses

The data collected is published in the data overview.

In the CrowdWater game, the water level data collected from the app with the help of virtual staff gauges are checked for their quality and improved if necessary.

Current research focuses of the project are the use of data on temporary streams and the implementation of the citizen science approach to collecting water quality data.