Citizen Science Research and Education Services in East Kolkata Wetland, Kolkata

East Kolkata Wetland (EKW) – a Ramsar site covering 125 sq. km – is a waste water-fed aquaculture system along the eastern border of Kolkata city. A 3-year study on water and land use pattern, water quality and their impact on flora of the EKW was launched in September 2014 by Nature Environment and Wildlife Society (NEWS), Kolkata with financial support from Earthwatch Institute.

This particular project is a part of HSBC Water Programme which is running across the world. Earthwatch has the responsibility to carry out research and awareness part in 59 cities in the world of which NEWS is its partner for Kolkata.

HSBC employees in Kolkata and different stakeholders and interns are trained during CSL days to carry out a basic research on the wetland and the data are uploaded in the Water Hub portal which is available in the public domain. During FWW, CSL participants carry out their own testing and upload the data.

Funded By: Earthwatch Institute, UK
Project Duration: 2014 – till now

An overall objective of the project is to make the existence, importance and conservation of fresh water resources and particularly, East Kolkata Wetland, visible and engage local people in a community research approach.

1. To record the trends of land use and water use patterns and the seasonal variations in water quality in EKW.

2. Documentation of the distribution of the common aquatic flora in EKW.

3. To examine whether changes in land and water use pattern and water quality impact the flora of the wetland.

4. To train and engage volunteers from HSBC, school and college students, and common citizens of Kolkata who can spread the awareness about conservation of nature including fresh water resource.

Water quality in the bheries of East Kolkata Wetland is being analysed seasonally and an inventory of flora is being prepared.

It is an ongoing project and during its course till now, 10 Citizen Science Leader (CSL) programmes and 9 Fresh Water Watch (FWW) programmes were held involving around 200 participants from HSBC Kolkata.

Around 300 water samples have been collected till date, analysed, uploaded in the Water Hub.