Water Rangers

Empowering communities to learn about and test waterways using citizen science tools and platforms.

Sustainable Development Goals

  • Sustainable Development Goals - 4. Quality Education
  • Sustainable Development Goals - 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Sustainable Development Goals - 13. Climate Action
  • Sustainable Development Goals - 14. Life Below Water

Quick facts

  • Founded: August 2015
  • Organizational Structure: non-profit
  • Home base: Impact Hub in Ottawa
  • Sector: Education, Environment, Technology

What's your social mission?

Water Rangers empowers citizens to collect water quality observations and view open data using our web platform, app, water stewardship training, and water quality testkits. According to our survey results, water testers often become more connected to the natural world, increase their time near water, and renew their commitment to environmental protection. We envision a future where Canada is a world leader in environmental stewardship through innovation, and where water-based research and crowdsourced information make it easy for all Canadians to understand when water is healthy and when it needs help.


  • Inexpensive, easy-to-use, accurate water quality testkit for lakes and rivers
  • User-friendly data collection tools that contribute to open data
  • Embedded education programs

Water Rangers was first incubated at Impact Hub Ottawa, and it’s through their support that we’ve been able to continuously grow since our launch in 2015. We know how important community is, and Impact Hub introduced us to other parts of the network, like Invest Ottawa to take courses and CSED to help us grow our store!

Kat Kavanagh

Executive Director Water Rangers


Number of observations recorded in over 2,000 location in Canada, United States and Mexico


Number of youth trained in how to conduct water quality tests in 2017 and 2018


% of people that had never tested water before


  • May 2015

    First prototype won the Aquahacking Competition

  • August 2015

    Officially became a non-profit organization. Launched platform for open data and citizen science.

  • July 2016

    Launched first testkit program to explore oceans

  • April 2017

    Launched iOS and Android apps to collect data offline.

  • November 2017

    Place at permanent exhibition at Museum of Science & Technology. Published reports on how testing water changes behaviours. Released initial results to help validate citizen monitoring with Carleton University.

  • December 2018

    Over 1,000 registered users in 83 groups are monitoring waterways, from Northwest Territories to British Columbia to Newfoundland, as well as in United States and Mexico!

  • Up next

    Technology to read colorimetric tests (including test strips and sensors) will make our kits even more relevant. We’re also launching a new version of our website that teaches people what they need to know to launch their own monitoring program.

The Ecosystem

Water Rangers is an active participant in our business ecosystem. Here are a few of the services they’ve used:

Impact Hub Ottawa

  • Coworking space
  • Program : Impact Academy
  • Mentorship
  • Finance : Ottawa Wavemakers

Invest Ottawa

  • Program : Courses

Centre for Social Enterprise Development (CSED)

An introduction to Water Rangers at Aquahacking

Kat Kavanagh presented at Aquahacking in Montreal. We showed why it's important to reconnect citizens to data and the waterbodies they love, plus a progress update on what we've been doing.

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