About the Headwaters Sentinel Climate Stations Project

Raritan Headwaters Association (RHA) was awarded a grant from the Royal Bank of Canada in 2021 to create an innovative program focused on the impacts of climate change within our watershed’s freshwater systems. RHA plans to conduct scientific monitoring and data communication to fill this crucial gap through our brand-new long-term monitoring program called Headwaters Sentinel Climate Stations throughout NJ’s Upper Raritan River watershed region.

Freshwater resources face significant threats from climate change; this is especially true of headwater stream ecosystems, which rely on cold, oxygen-rich conditions to supply clean water to much of the planet’s population. There is a deficit in science overall on the impacts of climate change in freshwater systems, which is needed to inform decisions on short and long-term vulnerability to climate change and the steps necessary for effective climate resilience and adaptation planning.

How Climate Change Impacts You

Climate Change, also known as global warming, influences more than just intensifying storms, warmer days and increasing the frequency of weather formations. As a result, this affects our oceans, freshwater resources, nature’s biodiversity, air quality, crop production, economy, and human health. With increased knowledge, and on-going data collection we can develop climate change strategies and increase interventions that protect people’s health.

A temperature change of 1.5°C – 5.0°C (34.7°F – 41.0°F) can cause significant impacts such as droughts, warming waterbodies, alter river flows, increase sea levels, prolong growing seasons (especially for those pesky invasive species), and much more. Data from over 70+ peer-reviewed climate studies represent how global warming will impact the world.

 

Data Collection

The Headwaters Sentinel Climate Stations will collect the following data: water depth, conductivity, and water temperature every 15 minutes via cellular transmission through over 470+ carriers. Our data is shared in real-time and will be fully available via an interactive Climate Change Dashboard, which will guide decision-makers in responding to climate threats and serve as a nationwide model for environmental organizations and communities.

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