Evaluation of community participation in water quality monitoring by the use of water quality descriptors as a preliminary approach to assessing water quality
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This research was carried out in 1997 at a chosen mine in Zimbabwe in order to determine and assess participation by communities from mining areas in monitoring the quality of water they use through procedures that are alternatives of laboratory experiments. Questionnaires, group discussions and observations were used to collect data on community knowledge in water quality issues. The results show that communities have water quality descriptors derived from their experience. They use these descriptors everyday to discuss the quality of the water they use. These descriptors are closely related to water quality parameters as analyzed in the laboratory. The findings, therefore, show that it is possible to organize communities to continuously and systematically monitor the quality of water in their areas as a preliminary approach to chemical and microbial analyses by research scientists or local water engineers and local environmental health technicians.