Being the regional center to assist the seven local Environmental Protection Bureaus (EPBs) in the Southern Taiwan to manage their Aqua-Watch programs, this project promotes experience exchange among EPBs, through on-site visits and consultations, as well as hosting workshop of public participation on watershed management. The center also conducts training course and seed-teacher workshop to assist EPBs to equip Aqua-Watchers with needed knowledge and skill. In order to integrate the local voices to the decision process of watershed management, the River Restoration Center also held watershed public participation meetings for Erren River and ChiShui River, both are listed as the Priority River to be remediated. The conclusions of the watershed meetings are presented to the EPA-hosted Executive Meetings of River Pollution Cleanup Projects. This year, the Southern Region Project is also assist to direct aquawatch teams to monitor unlawful discharge of swine wastewater and the application of treated wastewater in farmland as water resource and fertilizer, to modify the performance evaluation index of the management of Aqua-Watch program for local EPBs and of the National Excellent Aquawatch Team, and to compile and publish special commemorating book and short film for the 20th anniversary of the aquawatch team policy.
Through literature reviews, the project also evalutate the effectiveness of the Aquawatch policy and the future development strategies. In order to further strengthen the public participation in the future, we suggest: (1) Promoting citizen meetings with the existing aquawatch network; (2) Diversifing the functions of the aquawatch team by connecting with citizen scientist programs; (3) Continuously promoting exchanges among local EPBs to strengthen the management and guidance capabilities; (4) Encouraing the participation of various citizen groups to further expend the aquawatch coverage; (5) With the 20-year foundation of the aquawatch policy, initiating a more comprehensive and water-quality driven public participation in water environmental protection framework.