Citizen science and web-based modelling tools for managing freshwater

Authors Pandeya, B.; Buytaert, W.
Year of Publication 2017
Type of Publication Policy and Practice Brief


  • Involving local communities in monitoring water and land resources – so-called citizen science – can create new data and knowledge, improve conventional decision making and optimise water resource benefits.
  • The use of low-cost hydrological sensors in Nepal allowed local stakeholders to generate useful data on freshwater resources in partnership with scientists, and to apply this data more effectively in participatory decision making.
  • It is important to use the right mapping and modelling methods for ecosystem services (the benefits people obtain from ecosystems) so that information on service production, distribution and consumption is expressed at a spatial scale that is relevant to decision making. These methods are even more important in regions where limited data is available.
  • The integration of appropriate citizen science practices as well as mapping and modelling tools into water and land resources-based decision making could facilitate sustainable development activities, particularly in the Himalayan region.