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Creek Watch

Main Project Information
Goal Use your iPhone to help track water pollution.
Task Use iphone to photograph, report how much water, trash you see.
Where Global, anywhere on the planet

Creek Watch is an iPhone application created by IBM Research that enables you to help monitor the health of your local watershed. Whenever you pass by a waterway, spend a few seconds using the Creek Watch application to snap a picture and report how much water and trash you see. We aggregate the data and share it with water control boards to help them track pollution and manage water resources. You can use the map on the left to explore the data that people have contributed, or see recent contributions as a table.

The Creek Watch App uses four pieces of data:

The amount of water: empty, some, or full.
The rate of flow: still, moving slowly, or moving fast.
The amount of trash: none, some (a few pieces), or a lot (10 or more pieces).
A picture of the waterway.

This data helps watershed groups, agencies and scientists track pollution, manage water resources, and plan environmental programs.

Creek Watch is a project developed at IBM Research - Almaden in consultation with the California State Water Resources Control Board's Clean Water Team.

The iPhone application is now available free on the iTunes store, so you can get started contributing data!

How to Join

The free iPhone application is now available on the iTunes store, so you can get started contributing data! Versions for additional mobile devices are currently being developed.

Required Gear


Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity While fishing, In oceans, streams, rivers, lakes, On a walk, run, On a hike
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags App, creek, creeks, iphone, water quality, watershed
Project Updated 04/21/2017