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A citizen science app for advancing the science and management of intermittent streams

Intermittent rivers represent a significant portion of the world’s watercourses. From ephemeral streams that sporadically surge with rainfall to intermittent rivers that may dwindle to isolated pools or dry entirely, these waterways play a crucial role in local ecosystems and human livelihoods.

Recognising the importance of monitoring these often-overlooked rivers, a team of researchers has embarked on a groundbreaking initiative. Enter DRYRivERS, a citizen science project that has developed a smartphone application designed to engage citizens in tracking intermittent rivers.

With DRYRivERS, users become active participants in the scientific endeavour to understand and mitigate the impacts of climate change on river systems. By harnessing the power of crowdsourcing, the app empowers individuals to document drying events in their local waterways, contributing valuable data to a global mapping effort.

But DRYRivERS is more than just a tool for data collection. It represents a bridge between science and society, fostering collaboration between researchers and communities worldwide and providing knowledge for government organisations to implement safeguards to help mitigate the problems caused by water shortages.

Through the collective efforts of citizens, scientists can refine their models and predictions, ultimately enhancing our ability to safeguard these hydrological systems in the face of environmental change.

In this IMPETUS Interview, we speak with Thibault Datry about how DRYRivERS has activated these communities and how this citizen science data has informed hydrology models and helps government organisations safeguard water resources.

Watch the full interview here: