Sensor Network to Map Pollution

A group of U.S. researchers is working on a system to map undulating pollution trends in the Godavari.

Using a mix of methods, including satellite monitoring, traversing stretches of the river to collect water samples and using special sensors to measure bacterial and chemical pollution, the researchers are trying to develop a cost-effective forecast system.

The team’s long-term objective is to be able to inform State officials and citizens of a probable spike in, say, levels of dangerous microbes or effluents, similar to weather and air pollution forecasts.

It is to be able to access “raw data” that could be used to inform the efficacy of a proposed faecal sludge treatment plant and whether behavioural interventions —including incentives or punishments —to restrict activities that pollute the river could actually work.

The project measures parameters such as total dissolved salts, nitrate, pH, temperature, turbidity and electrical conductivity. These are published on a website called Thoreau, a wireless sensing network maintained at the University of Chicago to map environmental parameters, for analysis.

Source: The Hindu

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