To echo the United Nation’s World Rivers Day, the EPA incorporated the concept of “citizen science” and held a series of “All Citizens Love Water –Manure is a Good Resource” activities, including training to strengthen the skills of river patrol teams, workshops on citizen water quality monitoring and investigation, and actual water quality monitoring. In addition, all river patrol teams across the country were invited to participate through online connection, a tour was organized to Huang Ke-Shiang’s livestock farm that reutilizes livestock manure, and the public was invited to absorb knowledge with Internet celebrities through online activities on their fan pages.
The EPA expressed that the series of activities made water environment patrol teams, which is the major non-governmental river guarding force, as the seed participants. The cooperation of the non-governmental sector is indispensable for the camps that safeguard river’s quality in Taiwan. In recent year, local river patrol teams are growing strong. In the past, if patrol teams found suspicious pollution incidents, they could only report as soon as possible the incidents to environmental bureaus to deal with. But now through new and simple water quality testing tools, they can send monitoring data and the information of the potential pollution sources in real-time, helping the public sector to carrying out more precise law enforcement in the follow-up. In other words, they have evolved to “water environment patrol teams 2.0”. One example of the testing tools is the “time-lapse resin capsule”. With resin’s capability of adsorbing heavy metals, the capsules can be used to monitor river pollution if deployed in a water body over a long time. Another example is the “handheld water quality sensor” developed by the EPA and Industrial Technology Research Institute together.
As of August 2021, the number of water environment patrol team across the country had reached 462 with a total of 13,125 members silently putting in efforts to protect local water environments. In recent years, the EPA has been vigorously promoting the reutilization of livestock manure to improve rivers’ water quality, seeking the win-win situation of reducing river pollution while saving farmers’ fertilizer expenditure. One positive example of non-governmental cooperation is in Chiayi County, which has cooperated with EPA’s resource reutilization policy for many years. The county has achieved outstanding results with its livestock manure reutilization promotion. As of July this year, 86 livestock farms in Chiayi County had been approved of their livestock manure reutilization plans leading to a total of 1,423,465 metric tons of manure used as fertilizers yearly. In addition, the county’s patrol teams have been starting to help match crop farmers with livestock farms.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, October 2021
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)