Group Dynamics and Resource Availability of a Long-Term Volunteer Water-Monitoring Program

Authors: Deutsch, William1; Lhotka, Laura2; Ruiz-Cordova, Sergio1

Source: Society and Natural Resources, Volume 22, Number 7, August 2009 , pp. 637-649(13)

Publisher: Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group

Buy & download fulltext article:


Price: $60.30 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Alabama Water Watch is a statewide, citizen volunteer water quality monitoring program with participation of 235 groups over a 14-year period (1993-2006). A variety of social and geographical resources strongly influenced the distribution, characteristics, and longevity of groups. Group location and sampling effort in each of 67 counties had significant correlation with population, income, and education. Water-monitoring groups were concentrated in the northeast quadrant of the state (where 60% of lake acreage occurs) and in the coastal southwest region, with virtually no groups in areas of persistent poverty. Though it has been demonstrated that volunteer water-monitoring programs can collect scientifically valid data that make significant contributions to natural resource management, such programs favor well-organized and educated groups with discretionary time and wealth. Different approaches are needed to make inroads into resource-limited areas, such as alternative environmental awareness programs, and partnerships with organizations that focus on community development and livelihoods.

Keywords: Alabama; community groups; resource availability; volunteer water monitoring

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA 2: Department of Forestry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2009

More about this publication?
Related content


Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content

Text size:

A | A | A | A
Share this item with others: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. print icon Print this page