Public Lab Research note

Water Monitoring Network

by roberts_ecofarm | November 10, 2018 16:11 10 Nov 16:11 | #17507 | #17507

Water is fundamental for life. We must have it for drinking and for producing our food. Without it we die. There are many things that impact the quality and availability of water, especially in rural parts of the world. Sources of impact include pollution, alternative uses (industry, landscape irrigation, etc), and climate change. Currently there is very little active monitoring of the impacts these things are having on rural water supplies. Not knowing what is happening with our water until a crisis arises is a very dangerous approach to something we are all dependent on. As the government lacks the will to implement any active monitoring, it falls to us to do it.

Our main concern:

There is no active monitoring of the impact of pollution, exploitation, and climate change on our water supply. An active monitoring network is needed so that issues can be identified early and steps can be taken to find a solution before it is too late.

Obstacles and supporting information:

The main obstacles in water monitoring is access to equipment. For the information to have real value the monitoring needs to be done at multiple sites and over an extended period of time. The commercially available equipment to do this is quite costly, and the institutional will to do such monitoring is low.

Who is engaged in this concern?

Currently we have a small network of interested people in East Central Ohio. The issues are global as well as local, so it would be great to expand the network or to create a consortium of regional networks that shared information.

What are the initial questions?

Can we create;

1. A set of low cost tools capabile of long term, reliable data collection to monitor

  • water conductivity sensor/data logger to look at pollution incursions into ground water and drinking water source

  • soil moisture sensor/data logger to look at changes in soil moisture as climate change impacts increase
  • ground water level sensor/data logger to look at drops in ground water levels as irrigation and precipitation levels change

2. A network of citizen scientist willing and able to build, install, and maintain the sensor/data loggers

3. A cloud based repository for collecting and sharing data from the network


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