The Citizen Crane project combines RMI surveys of invertebrate health with water quality monitoring for phosphate levels and loadings. A pilot study for outfall monitoring has recently been added to the mix.
The River Crane is a small urban catchment in west London, covering around 120 sq km and running for around 30km from Harrow in NW London to its confluence with the Thames in Isleworth. The river has great potential as an urban green corridor for the half million people living within 10 minutes’ walk but it has also been subject to two major fish kills in the last five years and ongoing chronic pollution. It is classed as poor under WFD criteria and one of the main causes is high levels of phosphate.
Citizen Crane started on the ground in April 2014 following an initial feasibility study. Its purpose has been to develop an improved spatial and temporal understanding of water quality issues, help identify and reduce pollution problems, and create a volunteer led network of river monitoring teams to provide local community inputs for wider improvement initiatives. Volunteer teams continue to monitor twelve sites on a monthly basis.
A steering group including Thames Water, Environment Agency and Crane Valley partnership links the project into the main decision making bodies in the catchment. A report on the findings of the first year of monitoring, presenting and analysing the data and highlighting the issues and benefits arising from the programme, has recently been published on the web-site.