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 resourcesbased decision making could facilitate sustainable development activities, particularly in the Himalayan region.
This research was supported by the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme
Pandeya, B., Buytaert, W., Citizen science and web-based modelling tools for managing freshwater, Imperial College London, 2017