River Watch Water Testing Device
We want to make available to all New Zealanders a simple accurate water quality testing device that will help determine the amount of pollution in our waterways. The device floats in water and can take measurements for up to 48 hours. Measurement data is downloaded to a phone app using a Bluetooth connection. This data is then automatically sent to the WAI NZ website with a GPS location tagged to the data.
What conservation problem are you trying to solve?
Deteriorating water quality throughout New Zealand has become a major problem. Robust water quality data is required so that improvement or further deterioration can be tracked. To date, this data is sparse and expensive to collect using traditional water testing methods. The River Watch water testing device is simple to operate, portable, can collect data over a period of up to 48 hours, the data can be readily accessed from the phone app and is GPS tagged.
How are you going to solve this conservation problem?
The River Watch water testing device uses sensors to measure four important freshwater parameters: temperature, conductivity, turbidity and pH levels. The measurements are downloaded onto our Android phone app which stores and provides a read-out of the data transmitted from the water testing device. This data can be sent to the Water Action Initiative (WAI) NZ website and saved with a GPS location onto a map of New Zealand. The data stored on the map will build a mosaic of data that can be tracked over time showing water quality movements.Using the River Watch water testing device in conjunction with the WAI NZ website allows people to submit the data as an accurate real-time record, providing robust Citizen science data collection. The information provided by this data will create an invaluable resource for all stakeholders involved in water conservation management.
What makes your idea new and unique?
Four seperate testing probesTests for pH, conductivity, temperature & turbidity
Can carry up to six probes · Portability· Reliability· Accuracy· Real-time data· Simple to use· Collects data for up to a 48-hour period· Micro USB port for charging· Bluetooth communication· Phone app integration· Website GPS map location· Affordability
Who will use your idea, and how will they benefit?
The aim is to provide an accurate water testing device that can be used by any member of the public including volunteers, communities, conservation groups, education institutions and local government. This device will benefit New Zealander’s by providing a user friendly tool to help target and mitigate the widespread problem of point and non-point discharge into our freshwater ways. It is cost effective Citizen science with scientific parameters that cannot be disputed.
What tasks or activities do you need investment for? How would you spend a $25,000 grant?
This money would be used to:
· Develop the prototype for commercial production
· Develop software and phone app for IOS and Microsoft platforms
· Continued employment of full time staff member to develop and promote the River Watch water testing device
· Begin the commercial production of the River Watch water testing device.
Are you a New Zealand citizen or resident?
List five other ideas posted in the challenge that excite you. Why?
Barcoding Whitebait: It would be important to monitor water quality a in conjunction with species identification.
River Snake: water quality data would be required to measure the effectiveness of the snakes placement.
ET find Kiwi: The data from River Watch gathered by ET, allows one operator to gather data throughout an entire catchment.
Predator Free NZ FacebooK Data from River Watch could be tagged to the Predator Free Facebook platform.
Nothing is More Powerful: scientific data will be required to take fiduciary action.
How could you improve your idea?
The River Watch water testing device has been developed in collaboration with Victoria University's School of Engineering and Computer Science. The River Watch collaboration has been running for five years with Year 3 students.
improvements would include the addition of two other further probes that would measure nitrates/nitrites and phosphorus.
Double the current battery life, which will extend the range of the device and its ability to communicate with UAV drones.
Modifying the protytype for salt water conditions particularly in-shore turbidity and pH which will allow early identification of ocean acidification and sedimentation.
Permanent deployment platform allowing the River Watch water testing device to be easily deployed and removed from sites which require ongoing monitoring. Such as significant rivers with public access for recreation, to forecast and monitor toxic algal blooms.