Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 535557
Title Public participation in science : The future and value of citizen science in the drinking water research
Author(s) Brouwer, Stijn; Wielen, Paul W.J.J. van der; Schriks, Merijn; Claassen, Maarten; Frijns, Jos
Source Water 10 (2018)3. - ISSN 2073-4441
DOI https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030284
Department(s) Microbiological Laboratory
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Amsterdam - Citizen science - Drinking water quality - Knowledge generation - Participation
Abstract This paper explores the value of involving citizens in the generation of knowledge in drinking water research. To this end, the significance of the 'Freshness of Water' citizen science project on the microbiological stability of drinking water was analyzed, supplemented with a series of expert interviews. In this project, citizens of Amsterdam participated in taking samples from their own kitchen tap and testing the water using test strips. The subsequent monitoring of bacteria revealed that the total number of bacterial species in all of the Amsterdam drinking water samples was high. For the participants, the presence of ten thousands of bacterial species in their drinking water, as well as the interpretation that this is perfectly normal and not a health concern, was obviously new. However, instead of causing concern or worry, this transparency clearly functioned as a strong confidence-inducing signal. A majority of the citizen scientists state that, as a result of their participation, their confidence in the quality of drinking water and the water company has increased. This study suggests that citizen science can raise the participant's water awareness and that, with the appropriate support, non-professionals can make a valuable contribution to scientific drinking water research.
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