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A Sensor to Monitor and Manage Water Quality in Real-Time

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Vusi Melane
Vusi Melane
Staff Writer


Internet of Things

CENSIS, Scotland’s innovation center for sensing, imaging, and IoT technologies, has collaborated with Aqsen Innovations to create an affordable IoT sensor system. This system aims to assist communities in developing countries combat the impacts of climate change by allowing them to detect, monitor, and manage water quality in real-time.

Aqsen Innovations has teamed up with CENSIS – Scotland’s innovation center for sensing, imaging, and IoT technologies – to enhance the development of its sensor system, Aquasense. This system can be customized to measure various water variables, including temperature, oxygen levels, salinity, and the presence of chemicals like chlorine.

Cost effective solution

Sensor systems with these features are frequently prohibitively expensive, rendering them unaffordable for deployment in numerous developing nations. Nonetheless, Aqsen Innovations aims to offer the technology at just 25% to 30% of the cost of comparable products. Collaborating with CENSIS will facilitate the company in achieving this price point through the utilization of a distinctive blend of components that are compatible with Aqsen’s software tools.

By continuously monitoring water quality, the IoT sensors generate data that can be remotely monitored via a mobile device, informing decision-making. This approach is particularly targeted at areas susceptible to flooding or reliant on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture and aquaculture.

For instance, farmers could utilize the technology to monitor soil moisture levels for crops, impacting plant health and yields. Similarly, fish farmers could reap benefits by tracking water temperature, dissolved oxygen concentration, and pH levels, enabling them to determine the best feeding times and monitor fish health.

Trial phase in Uganda planned

Later this year, the team will collaborate with Makerere University College of Natural Sciences in Uganda to commence advanced trials of the technology in Lake Victoria. Initial trials have also been successfully conducted at fish farms in Uganda, as well as in India, monitoring water quality in floodplains and agricultural land.

Co-founder of Aqsen Innovations, Rinku Dasbiswas says “Aquasense provides real-time, dynamic insights on water quality that can support communities and help to improve productivity across a variety of sectors grappling with environmental challenges. It is about making technology that can make a real difference more affordable and accessible to those who need it most. The impact this could have in developing nations is huge, and it was brilliant to hear the initial feedback from farmers on the difference this could make to their livelihoods.” he said

“Once we reach commercialisation, we hope to develop the product further and begin incorporating satellite imaging. CENSIS is playing a key role in integrating the IoT technologies into our sensor systems. The team also introduced us to other UK-based companies operating in the field, and we hope to foster these connections by working together to adapt the product and help mitigate against the impacts of climate change in this part of the world as well.” he added

Trial phase in Scotland

The sensors will also undergo trials in various projects in Scotland involving CENSIS, investigating the optimal methods for monitoring water quality in various contexts such as flooding and tree planting. Additionally, potential applications are being explored in South Africa and Malaysia.

Business development manager at CENSIS, Rachael Wakefield adds that “Aqsen Innovations’ mission is closely aligned with our own, and we have experience of creating bespoke IoT-enabled sensors for use in environmental sensing applications at scale. Accessible, affordable environmental sensing is not just a challenge for developing nations, it is useful here in the UK too – especially for small farms and not-for-profit organisations that have a need for data-evidenced land management change. The potential impact of Aquasense is huge and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Aqsen Innovations, supporting the team to address global climate challenges.”




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