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THE CHALLENGE

Clean water is essential to life. In the Galapagos, human populations and tourism have been placing increasing demand on limited freshwater supplies. Using a participatory-based approach, we are working to understand trends and disturbances to water quality across both natural and engineered systems.

KEY QUESTIONS

  • What are the best methods and indicators for measuring occurrence, persistence, and fate of microbial contaminants in water?
  • What are environmental determinants of water quality and disease in the Galapagos and in coastal systems throughout the world?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities for island systems to reach Sustainable Development Goal 6.1: to achieve safe and affordable drinking water for all?


People: Jill Stewart and Valeria Ochoa-Herrera

Water is essential to life, and we have built capacity to measure water quality in the Galapagos Islands. With this capacity, we have implemented a collaborative monitoring program to measure water quality in source water, drinking water, and recreational waters of San Cristobal Island. Data from the monitoring program are also being compared to precipitation and health data to evaluate the role of rainfall and runoff in the spread of waterborne disease. These efforts will help reveal the environmental determinants of water quality and disease in the Galapagos and in coastal systems throughout the world.