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Children’s Participation in the Evaluation of Bio-Indicators of Water Quality in Rural Communities

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  21st Century Watershed Technology: Improving Water Quality and Environment Conference Proceedings, 21-24 February 2010, Universidad EARTH, Costa Rica  701P0210cd.(doi:10.13031/2013.29441)
Authors:   Bert Kohlmann, Ricardo Russo, Jose Itzep, Rosario Solís
Keywords:   Biomonitoring, bioindicators , macro-invertebrates, river pollution, Costa Rica

The management of bioindicators of water quality in rural communities emphasizes the importance of enabling organized groups to evaluate the quality of water resources through apprenticeship and execution of sampling methods of macro-invertebrates (biomonitoring), that can be complemented with an evaluation of physical-chemical analysis properties (pH, COD, DBO, T, BOD) of the aquatic environment. This study seeks to address children's participation in environmental issues, and explores a new tool for evaluating water quality. With the participation of school children of Las Mercedes School and students of Gucimo High School, samples were taken using the biomonitoring BMWP-CR (Biological Monitoring Working Party, modified for Costa Rica), index to determine the water quality of two communities in the Caribbean region of Costa Rica. The most abundant macroinvertebrates present in the samples were: Trichoptera, Coleoptera, Ephemeroptera, Odonata, Plecoptera and Hemiptera. During the collection of macro-invertebrate samples, specimens from the Perlidae family were encountered, this family being a bioindicator of excellent water quality. During the practice the school-children communities developed an environmental conscience, organization abilities, and the assimilation of the technique in the community water resources evaluation process.

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