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Testing The Waters A Water Quality Workshop


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Testing The Waters A Water Quality Workshop

  1. 1. © H. Verheul Sierra Club of Canada Atlantic Chapter Testing the Waters: A Water Quality Workshop
  2. 2. Sierra Club of Canada Atlantic Chapter A member-based organization that empowers people to protect, restore and enjoy a healthy and safe planet. © H. Verheul © H. Verheul
  3. 3. Sierra Club of Canada Atlantic Chapter © H. Verheul © H. Verheul Main focus of Halifax office is education. This workshop is a reaction to member interest in water quality testing.
  4. 4. Overview of today’s workshop <ul><li>Sierra Club Presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Community Based Environmental Monitoring Network </li></ul><ul><li>Eastern Shore Forest Watch Presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Water Quality Testing Workshop </li></ul>© H. Verheul © H. Verheul
  5. 5. <ul><li>Ecosystem integrity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ecosystem needs vary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Drinking water quality </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural water quality </li></ul>What is Water Quality Ecosystem integrity and drinking water quality are directly related. Drinking water comes from somewhere… Drawing by Sydney Smith ( Drawing by Sydney Smith
  6. 6. <ul><li>Community-Based Water Quality Monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>builds community awareness of health and threats to water resources </li></ul><ul><li>develops an understanding of day to day living impacts </li></ul><ul><li>brings communities together by making them aware of their common water source </li></ul>Community member participation in management of water resources Drawing by M.C. Escher ( )
  7. 7. <ul><li>Local community members </li></ul><ul><li>Community groups and organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental stewardship groups </li></ul><ul><li>Government agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Industry </li></ul>Who can do water quality monitoring? © H. Verheul <ul><li>Local community members </li></ul><ul><li>Community groups and organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental stewardship groups </li></ul>
  8. 8. Purposes for water quality monitoring (World Health Organization, 1996) <ul><li>To guarantee that water is suitable… </li></ul><ul><li>To help explain the impacts of our actions </li></ul><ul><li>To record trends in water quality over time </li></ul><ul><li>To monitor background quality of the water as a means to compare the results later on </li></ul>© H. Verheul
  9. 9. Definitions: <ul><li>Groundwater: water that is underground and flows through the pores in the soil, cracks in the bedrock, it supplies springs, wells and sometimes lakes, streams and rivers with water </li></ul><ul><li>Leaching: process by which materials such as salts, pesticides, or other contaminants and chemicals are dissolved in water and carries along with the water flow </li></ul><ul><li>Lentic waters: standing water (not flowing, ie. ponds or lakes) </li></ul><ul><li>Lotic waters: flowing water (ie. rivers, streams) </li></ul>© H. Verheul
  10. 10. What is a Watershed? The area of land where all of the water that drains off it goes into the same place. Other names for watersheds are a catchment, catchment area, catchment basin, drainage area, river basin and water basin. ( )
  11. 11. <ul><li> </li></ul>What is a Watershed? Watersheds may vary in size from a large river basin to less than an acre. Larger watersheds may contain smaller watersheds called sub-basins.
  12. 12. What is a Watershed?
  13. 13. The integrity of a watershed ecosystem is directly linked to water quality Bedrock geology, soils, vegetation, atmospheric deposition and land uses will all affect the water quality of a lake or stream. © H. Verheul
  14. 14. The importance of a watershed All living things in a given watershed are linked by their common water course. © H. Verheul
  15. 15. Definitions: <ul><li>Water quality parameter: a characteristic which is used to understand the quality of the water </li></ul><ul><li>Effluent: water that flows from a single source (such as a sewage treatment plant) after it has been used or treated </li></ul><ul><li>Runoff: the part of rainfall, snowmelt or irrigation that flow over the surface of the ground (doesn’t seep into the ground) </li></ul><ul><li>Point source: water entering a water body from a single point (ie. effluent) </li></ul><ul><li>Non-point source: water entering a water body over a large area (ie. runoff) </li></ul>© H. Verheul
  16. 16. The Hydrologic Cycle
  17. 17. <ul><li>The circuit of water movement from the oceans to the atmosphere and to the Earth and return to the atmosphere through various stages or processes such as precipitation, interception, runoff, infiltration, percolation, storage, evaporation, and transportation (USGS, 2009). </li></ul>The Water Cycle The earth acts as a big filtration system. However, the filter cant be changed. © H. Verheul Toxins and pollutants accumulate to have negative effects on the cycling of water.
  18. 18. The Water Balance in a Lake <ul><li>Water flows into lakes: </li></ul><ul><li>through rivers and streams that may carry materials that are both artificial and natural </li></ul><ul><li>from water and wastewater treatment plants and industry </li></ul><ul><li>through agricultural drainage, rainfall and groundwater </li></ul>© H. Verheul
  19. 19. The Water Balance in a Lake (World Health Organization, 1996) <ul><li>Water flows out of lakes through: </li></ul><ul><li>rivers and streams </li></ul><ul><li>evaporation and groundwater </li></ul><ul><li>removal for public, agricultural and industrial use </li></ul>
  20. 20. The Water Balance in a Lake: Scraggy Lake
  21. 21. Designing a Water Quality Monitoring Strategy <ul><li>A strategy must include: </li></ul><ul><li>objectives </li></ul><ul><li>information required to meet these objectives </li></ul><ul><li>description of the study area </li></ul><ul><li>description of the sampling sites </li></ul><ul><li>list of the water quality parameters to be measured </li></ul><ul><li>frequency and timing of sampling </li></ul><ul><li>list of materials, equipment, volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>quality control and quality assurance plan </li></ul>© H. Verheul © H. Verheul (World Health Organization, 1996)
  22. 22. Objectives: what are you interested in knowing? (World Health Organization, 1996) <ul><li>to understand the effects that deteriorating water quality have on plant and aquatic life </li></ul><ul><li>to develop measures that will prevent further deterioration of a water body </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of objectives include: </li></ul><ul><li>to determine whether or not current discharges into a water body satisfy rules and regulations </li></ul>© H. Verheul
  23. 23. Understanding Your Watershed (World Health Organization, 1996) <ul><li>A description of the monitoring area should include: </li></ul><ul><li>definition of the geographical extent of the area </li></ul><ul><li>summary of the factors that may affect water quality (including human activities) </li></ul><ul><li>water bodies descriptors (ie. lakes, rivers, streams, size, type, fast flowing, slow flowing, other visual descriptions) </li></ul><ul><li>summary of what the water body is currently used for and will potential be used for </li></ul>© H. Verheul
  24. 24. Choosing Sampling Sites: Location on the watershed <ul><li>Requires: </li></ul><ul><li>consideration of the monitoring objectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>eg. to find a point source </li></ul></ul><ul><li>knowledge of the geography of the water course </li></ul><ul><li>the uses of water </li></ul><ul><ul><li>location, direction of flow, rocky or sandy, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>points on the watershed where water is removed or returned to the water course after human uses </li></ul>(Water on the Web 2004)
  25. 25. Sampling Station: Rivers <ul><li>Should be placed: </li></ul><ul><li>at a point where the water is well mixed both vertically and laterally </li></ul><ul><li>where wastewater flows into rivers, complete mixing may not occur until some distance downstream </li></ul>© H. Verheul
  26. 26. Field Sampling Considerations <ul><li>sample containers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>may be supplied by the sampling laboratory </li></ul></ul><ul><li>record observations at sampling station in a notebook: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>who sampled </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>where and when </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what samples were taken, what measurements were made, how they were made and the results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>weather and any unusual conditions at the site </li></ul></ul>(World Health Organization, 1996)
  27. 27. Field Sampling Considerations <ul><li>Sampling procedures: </li></ul><ul><li>seek specific procedures for equipment being used </li></ul><ul><li>check for standard operating procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Sampling tips: </li></ul><ul><li>measure sampling depth from the surface to the middle of the sampler </li></ul><ul><li>avoid touching or disturbing the bottom of the water body, because this will cause particles to become suspended </li></ul>
  28. 28. Field Sampling <ul><li>correctly preserve the samples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>generally a clean, chilled and dark environment is preferred </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>be aware of maximum storage time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>consider transportation of samples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>coordinate drop-off time with laboratory to ensure a short enough time between collection and analysis </li></ul></ul>(
  29. 29. Quality Assurance and Quality Control Quality Assurance covers the overall water quality monitoring plan. Quality control is measures that are taken to minimize errors and maintain precision, accuracy, representativeness, completeness and comparability of the data. © H. Verheul
  30. 30. Quality Assurance © H. Verheul <ul><li>Guides : </li></ul><ul><li>the selection of parameters and methods, </li></ul><ul><li>how data will be managed, analyzed and reported, </li></ul><ul><li>what steps will be used to determine validity of the selected procedures </li></ul>Seek outside sources to check program and data (ie. limnologist, university professor, other professionals, compare with other monitoring programs and community groups, etc.)
  31. 31. Quality Assurance <ul><li>Data management: </li></ul><ul><li>Tables </li></ul><ul><ul><li>can display all the data measured for each sample site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>can display date and time collected, site location, site code, samplers name, equipment used, site description, additional comments, etc. </li></ul></ul>(World Health Organization, 1996)
  32. 32. Quality Assurance <ul><li>Data management: </li></ul><ul><li>Graphs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>over location (see right) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>to compare values at different locations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>over time (see below) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>to evaluate changes as time passes </li></ul></ul></ul> <ul><li>numerous ways to organize a graph to demonstrate useful information </li></ul><ul><li>anomalous values may become evident </li></ul><ul><li>useful method of reporting data </li></ul><ul><li>can be created using microsoft excel </li></ul>
  33. 33. Quality Control © H. Verheul Procedures that will help you minimize errors. <ul><li>Precision (or repeatability): </li></ul><ul><li>if two samples are taken at the same place at nearly the same time, how closely do they agree? </li></ul><ul><li>minimizing human error can help maintain precision </li></ul><ul><li>Accuracy: </li></ul><ul><li>how close results are to a true or expected value </li></ul>
  34. 34. Quality Control © H. Verheul <ul><li>Representativeness: </li></ul><ul><li>do the samples represent the environmental condition? </li></ul><ul><li>Completeness: </li></ul><ul><li>was enough valid or usable data collected? </li></ul><ul><li>for example, if 100 samples were to be collected, but only 90 were actually collected, then 90% completeness is documented </li></ul><ul><li>Comparability: </li></ul><ul><li>how data compares: between locations, throughout time, or between the people who are monitoring </li></ul>
  35. 35. Quality Control © H. Verheul <ul><li>Quality Control Measures </li></ul><ul><li>create a quality control plan that includes details such as the calibration of sampling instruments, instrument details, sampling instructions, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>this plan can be modified as new equipment is used or as new measures become apparent </li></ul><ul><li>two sets of eyes are always better than one! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>if two people can be part of the sampling procedure, then the chance of error is reduced </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Quality Control <ul><li>Data checks: </li></ul><ul><li>check to see if the values collected are scientifically possible or if the instruments used are capable of detecting such values </li></ul><ul><ul><li>check with other data if available </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>check instrument capability in manual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>does the instrument have a range </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>check that the units you are using are consistent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>μ g/L vs mg/L where μ means 10 -6 and m means 10 -3 </li></ul></ul>(World Health Organization, 1996) © H. Verheul Does this make sense?
  37. 37. Quality Control <ul><li>Data checks: </li></ul><ul><li>comparison of data measured in a lab with data measured in field </li></ul><ul><li>comparison of different data measured </li></ul><ul><ul><li>do they work together? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>if anomalous values are found, check all points where a mistake could have been made </li></ul><ul><ul><li>from field book to computer, from volunteer to volunteer, from database to report </li></ul></ul>(World Health Organization, 1996) © H. Verheul Can I fudge these? NO!
  38. 38. <ul><li>Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment: </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>includes guidelines for: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>drinking water quality (Health Canada) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the protection of freshwater life </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>agricultural water uses for irrigation and livestock </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>recreational water quality and aesthetics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>industrial water supplies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>marine water quality </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>marine and freshwater sediment quality </li></ul></ul></ul>Guidelines and Regulations (CCME 1999)
  39. 39. Guidelines and Regulations (CCME 1999)
  40. 40. Guidelines and Regulations <ul><li>Provincial government legislation: </li></ul><ul><li>Protected Water: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>may include restrictions on: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>land use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>recreational activities such as bathing, swimming, fishing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>fire restrictions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>forestry restrictions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>landfill prohibition </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>road construction and sedimentation control </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Wilderness Area: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>prohibits various activities such as: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>types of construction, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>various modes of transportation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>acquiring mineral and petroleum rights </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>camping, tenting, littering, any activities that may destroy or disturb the ecosystem </li></ul></ul></ul>
  41. 41. Guidelines and Regulations <ul><li>Search online to find legislation. </li></ul>
  42. 42. Guidelines and Regulations <ul><li>Canadian Federal Government: </li></ul><ul><li>Metal Mining Liquid Effluent Regulations and Guidelines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>includes maximum levels for harmful substances </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. Delivering of Monitoring Outcomes to Decision Makers: Strategy (Wieler, 2007)
  44. 44. Delivering of Monitoring Outcomes to Decision Makers: Reporting <ul><li>Methods of presenting data and findings: </li></ul><ul><li>Report format: a report could include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>program objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>list, description and interpretation of results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>quality assurance and quality control plan and data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>testing methodologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>site description </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>recommendations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A good example is that of the Clean Annapolis River Project which is posted on online, see: </li></ul>
  45. 45. Delivering of Monitoring Outcomes to Decision Makers: Reporting <ul><li>Methods of presenting data and findings: report card </li></ul><ul><ul><li>includes: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>short description of objectives: why is the report important? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>short description of monitoring area </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>short description of each parameter </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>results: tabulated or on a graph </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>grading scheme: could the results be better or worse? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>poor, fair, good, excellent </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Annapolis watershed report card at: </li></ul>
  46. 46. Delivering of Monitoring Outcomes to Decision Makers: Reporting <ul><li>Be sure to find effective ways to distribute the results: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>post reports online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>make councillors/other decision makers aware </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>include as part of an environmental impact assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>distribute reports throughout community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>release finding through media such as newspapers or radio </li></ul></ul>(Wieler, 2007)
  47. 47. <ul><li>AGAT Laboratories, Dartmouth </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Services Lab, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences, Halifax </li></ul><ul><li>Envirosphere Consultants Ltd., Windsor </li></ul><ul><li>Maxxam Analytics, Bedford </li></ul>Water Testing Laboratories in Central Nova Scotia ( © H. Verheul
  48. 48. <ul><li>Aberdeen Hospital, New Glasgow </li></ul><ul><li>Colchester Regional Hospital, Truro </li></ul><ul><li>Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre, Cumberland Co. </li></ul><ul><li>NS Dep. of Agriculture and Fisheries, Bible Hill </li></ul><ul><li>St. Martha’s Hospital, Antigonish </li></ul>Water Testing Laboratories in Northern Nova Scotia ( © H. Verheul
  49. 49. <ul><li>Cape Breton Health Care Complex, Sydney </li></ul><ul><li>Maxxam Analytics, Sydney </li></ul>Water Testing Laboratories in Eastern Nova Scotia ( © H. Verheul
  50. 50. <ul><li>Nova West Laboratories Ltd., Digby County </li></ul><ul><li>South Shore Regional Hospital, Bridgewater </li></ul><ul><li>Valley Regional Hospital, Kentville </li></ul><ul><li>Yarmouth Regional Hospital, Yarmouth </li></ul>Water Testing Laboratories in Western Nova Scotia ( © H. Verheul
  51. 51. QEII Environmental Services Laboratory Lab Testing Capabilities Major Ions and Nutrients Alkalinity NO3+NO2 Ammonia pH Calcium Potassium Chloride Silica Color Sodium Conductivity Sulfate Hardness TKN Fluoride Total Nitrogen Dissolved Organic Carbon Total Phosphorous Magnesium Turbidity Trace Elements Aluminum Manganese Antimony Molybdenum Arsenic Nickel Barium Selenium Beryllium Silver Boron Strontium Cadmium Thallium Chromium Tin Cobalt Titanium Copper Uranium Iron Vanadium Lead Zinc Lithium Total Coliforms and E.coli
  52. 52. Funding Water Quality Monitoring <ul><li>Funding opportunities: </li></ul><ul><li>To see funding opportunities through Environment Canada, see Green Source, an online guide: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A few options that may fund Water Quality Monitoring are: </li></ul><ul><li>Environment Canada’s ecoAction Community Funding Program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deadline: November 1, 2009 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Environmental Damages Fund </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3 deadlines per year: March 31st, August 31st, & November 30 th (draft proposal due November 17 th ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Deadline: November 6, 2009 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  53. 53. Funding Water Quality Monitoring <ul><li>Funding opportunities: </li></ul><ul><li>NS Species at Risk Conservation Fund </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Average of 10,000$ awarded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sage Environmental Program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>provides funding to studies and projects geared toward environmental protection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>initial proposal (2-3 paragraphs) deadlines: November 1 st and May 1 st </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>full proposal deadlines: November 15 th and May 15 th </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>HRM Community Grants Program </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Salamander Foundation </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TD Friends of the Environment Foundation </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  54. 54. Funding Water Quality Monitoring <ul><li>Funding opportunities: </li></ul><ul><li>RBC Blue Water Project </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nova Scotia Salmon Association’s Adopt-a-Stream </li></ul><ul><ul><li>provides funding for stream restoration work, including riparian work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Nova Scotia Youth Conservation Corps via NSE provides subsidized youth to work on summer projects (NSE pays 2/3 wages): </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Employment Nova Scotia - Job Creation Partnership program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>provides funding toward the cost of interns to work on various projects through which the interns build their skills – interns must be unemployed or have been on EI benefits within the past three years to qualify </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  55. 55. Groups doing water quality monitoring <ul><li>Clean Annapolis River Project - annual reports of volunteer water quality monitoring program </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Woodens River Environmental Organization – Steering Committee Report on Water Quality </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ACAP Saint John – report from 16 week water quality monitoring program </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Kings County Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sackville Rivers Association </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CAMP – Community Aquatic Monitoring Program (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) – Estuary Monitoring </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  56. 56. Community Based Environmental Monitoring Network St. Mary’s University <ul><li>assists individuals, community groups and other organizations in the initiation of environmental monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>conducts suspended sediment analysis, water quality testing, stream health assessments, forest research, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>lends out equipment through the Environmental Stewardship Equipment Bank </li></ul><ul><li>provides a place for groups to assist others and area network for the environmental stewardship community in Atlantic Canada </li></ul><ul><li>offers information about environmental monitoring protocols </li></ul><ul><li>offers long-term support for individuals, community groups and other organizations in their attempts to document a perceived environmental problem or threat </li></ul>
  57. 57. Government sources of water quality data <ul><li>Government of Nova Scotia </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Surface Water Data, Maps and Publications: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Governmental water quality report for nine lakes in near Yarmouth: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  58. 58. References Bartram J. and Ballance R. 1996. Water Quality Monitoring: A practical guide to the design and implementation of freshwater quality studies and monitoring programmes. United Nations Environment Programmes, World Health Organization. Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME). 1999. Canadian water quality guidelines for the protection of aquatic life. In: Canadian environmental quality guidelines. Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Available at: Glenen J. and Sharpe A. 2009. Annapolis River 2008 Annual Water Quality Monitoring Report. Clean Annapolis River Project. Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Available at: MacMillan et al. 2005. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2582: Characterization of Summer Water Temperatures for 312 selected sites in Nova Scotia. Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Moncton, New Brunswick. Wieler C. 2007. Delivery of Ecological Monitoring Information to Decision-Makers. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Network, Environment Canada, Burlington, Ontario. Available at: