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September 18 - World Water Monitoring Day

Every year, on September 18, since 2003, the World Water Monitoring Day, or World Water Quality Monitoring Day, is celebrated.

This ecological holiday, established on the initiative of the American Clean Water Foundation, has now become an informational and educational program aimed at raising public awareness of the problems of the planet's water resources and participating in protection from pollution. The program provides an opportunity for people to carry out basic monitoring of the state of local reservoirs themselves, carried out with the support of the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA). Traditionally, on this day, it is customary to take water samples from various surface water bodies of our planet to assess its safety for human life and living organisms.

The purpose of the World Water Monitoring Day is to raise public awareness about the quality of water resources and the measures taken to protect them from pollution. Systematic monitoring of water resources contributes to improving the quality of water consumed by humans and, as a result, reduces risks to public health.

Main sources of water pollution:

Surface water pollution
Hazardous substances in contact with various water sources lead to contamination of surface waters. Harmful substances from various sources are mixed or dissolved with the water of rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and then seas and oceans, which leads to contamination of surface waters.

Groundwater pollution
Pesticides and chemicals applied to crops and soil are washed deep into the ground during rain. Pesticides are mixed with groundwater and lead to their contamination.

Suspended matter pollution
With such pollution, pollutants enter the water and don’t mix with water molecules. Therefore, suspended particles in the water form silt on the water bottom.

Bacterial contamination
Microorganisms cause this type of water pollution. Although most microorganisms are harmless, some bacteria and viruses can cause serious health problems.

Chemical contamination of water
Many industries and farmers use chemicals for various purposes. This leads to water pollution. Various chemicals are used to control weeds, insects and pests that let leeches into the water and spread pollution. In addition, metals and solvents from industry also lead to water pollution.

Our country has sufficient reserves of water resources. However, with the development of industry and agriculture, there is a negative impact on the environment, including on water quality.
Within the framework of the National Environmental Monitoring System in the Republic of Belarus, which has been functioning in the Republic of Belarus since 1993, surface and groundwater monitoring is carried out.

An effective tool for preventing excessive discharges of pollutants is to conduct analytical (laboratory) control on a regular basis. More than 10,000 water samples are analyzed annually, and more than 500 wastewater releases into surface water bodies are monitored.
Observation points for the state of surface waters, indicators and frequency of monitoring the quality of surface waters are determined by the Order of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus No. 180-OD dated July 19, 2019 "On monitoring surface and groundwater".

Sampling of surface waters by specialists of Belgidromet

Monitoring of surface waters on the territory of the Republic of Belarus is carried out at 297 observation points. Regular observations are carried out on 160 water bodies, including 86 watercourses (176 observation points) and 74 reservoirs (121 observation points).

Measurement of water color by specialists of Belgidromet

Observations on hydrochemical indicators are carried out by the state institution "Republican center for analytical control in the field of environmental protection" (RCAC), on hydrobiological - by the state institution "Republican center for hydrometeorology, control of radioactive contamination and environmental monitoring" (Belgidromet).

Photo taken from Internet sources

An important direction in the development of surface water monitoring in recent years is the phased deployment of observations on hydromorphological indicators carried out within the framework of the state program.

Photo taken from the website

The problems of the impact of climate change on water resources are in the field of view of the Ministry of Natural Resources and systematic work is being carried out in this direction. Thus, within the framework of the State Program "Environmental Protection and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources" for 2016-2020, approved by Resolution No. 205 of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus dated March 17, 2016, the Ministry of Natural Resources has developed a draft Strategy for water Resources management in the context of climate change for the period up to 2030.
Water is an element without which life on Earth would not have appeared. The human body, like all living things, cannot exist without life-giving moisture and consists of 3/4 of water. Water quality requirements make it possible to protect people from pathogenic bacteria and viruses, so attention to its quality is an important task for every inhabitant of the planet who thinks about his health and longevity.
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