Creek Watch

Launched in 2013, Creek Watch is a free iphone app designed to be used by citizen scientists to monitor the health of their local watersheds. Users take a picture and record how much garbage they see in and around the location where they took their picture, specifically reporting on four metrics: 

  • The amount of water: empty, some or full
  • The rate of flow: still, moving slowly or moving fast 
  • The amount of trash: none, some (a few pieces), or a lot (10 or more pieces)
  • A picture of the waterway

The data is then aggregated and distributed by IBM, which created the app in 2013, to local water control boards and watershed groups to help local resource officers track pollution and allocate resources for the health of the watershed. This app essentially creates a pathway from the citizen scientist–engaged and passionate about pollution in their local watershed–to policymakers who can devote resources to preserve and protect their local watersheds.


Citizen Science, Data, Ecological Monitoring, Internet of Things, Monitoring, Visual Technologies