Government to Launch Automated Water Quality Monitoring

Since the quality of water is evaluated based on its physical, chemical and biological parameters, the Botswana government is moving towards automating water quality monitoring. This is in view of the recent advances in the technologies of sensors, robotics, and Internet of Things (IoT) which have led to significant progress in the applications of environmental telemonitoring. In the field of aquatic monitoring, static stations or buoys with capabilities of automated measuring, data logging and wireless transmission have been widely designed by research institutes or deployed by environmental departments.

As of Friday, the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism will be hosting the Launch of automated water quality monitoring stations for Okavango/Chobe Rivers and Pandamatenga staff houses at Kasane. A message from the ministry said the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Honorable Philda Nani Kereng will be officiating during these events.

The automated water quality monitoring for Okavango/Chobe Rivers and the Pandamatenga staff houses are part of the Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) completed in the country. “The water monitoring stations are expected to improve monitoring and pollution in these two rivers, which will guide their protection. On the other hand the Pandamatenga staff houses are expected to assist in improving staff welfare and the ability of the Ministry to provide services in the area,” said a statement seen by biztechafrica.

Sources in the water study say “Monitoring programs of aquatic environments play a critical role in various water uses, such as the study of aquatic life, livestock watering, human usage, irrigation, recreation, and so on. Clean water sources are beneficial not only for the aquatic ecosystem and natural habitats, but also for public health. In the past, water quality evaluation has relied primarily on time-consuming and human-intensive field measurements for data collection.”

 Technicians usually test water sources in the field utilizing hand-held devices, or transport water samples to laboratories for further analysis. The monitoring programs of this type have been limited by their inadequate measurements on both temporal and spatial scales.

“Although online data gathering can be achieved by utilizing these systems, they have been limited by their inadequacy and inflexibility in spatiotemporal quality evaluation. In the past decade, sensor nodes that can carry out mobile sensing have been investigated to facilitate flexibility for gathering information at locations of interest over a large-scale area,” says a study report.

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