Friday, February 11, 2011

Water quality monitoring course coming up: 1 Jun 2011

The next run of my water quality monitoring (WQM) course will be held on 1 Jun 2011. Formerly only offered to MOE teachers and staff, it is now open to members of the public too. (This came about because of the various requests from non-MOE staff and nature lovers who want to participate in the course as well.)

WQM involves checking the health of waterways on a regular basis. Whether in natural streams or urban canals, most of the water ends up in our reservoirs which provide our drinking water. Hence, WQM plays a vital role in safeguarding our water supplies.

If you are interested, you can find out more about the fascinating world of WQM in this course. Teachers and MOE staff, as well as members of the public can sign up here. For more details on the course, click

Course title: My forest is DYING and the role of water quality

Date: 1 June 2011
Time: 0900 - 1700
Venue: Singapore Polytechnic and field location
No. of participants: 20

More details can be found here. Write-up of previous runs may be found here - 1, 2. (My other WQM courses for students can be found here - 1, 2)


Beng T said...

Try monitoring the streams coming from the Seletar/Upper Thomson rifle ranges, that feed into the Nee Soon swamp forest and ultimately into the lower Seletar reservoir, for heavy metals. To find out more about the problem, Google:
firing range lead pollution water

Beng T said...

Try monitoring the water in the streams coming from the Upper Thomson and Nee Soon rifle ranges for heavy metals. Google:
firing range lead pollution water
for more info on the problem. This water ends up in Lower Seletar reservoir. The western catchment is similarly at risk from pollution from weapons.

And besides water quality (which is not really a problem in natural areas) another thing of import to biodiversity and ecology is the physical characteristics of the water body - it is a natural stream with earth banks, a concretised canal, a covered drain? Is the water current fast or slow? Are there stones, weeds, etc in the water for animals to take refuge from the current behind? Is there access to sunlight for plants to grow? Are there hiding places for animals, and breeding/nursery places? Can terrestrial or amphibious animals (frogs, monitor lizards, snakes, land animals wanting a drink or to forage for aquatic plants or animals as food) easily move between land and water or are there vertical concrete walls? A drain may have good water quality but if it is concrete with vertical walls, covered underground, lacking in substrate, with fast flowing water and no places for plants and animals to live, feed and breed, then it is almost useless as a habitat.