Water quality is a crucial indicator to the health of river ecosystems, yet as many as 47% of European water-bodies do not meet ‘good ecological status’. With more than 189,000 km of river in the UK alone, monitoring is an extensive task. Current water quality monitoring approaches lack spatial and temporal resolution which means pollution is not being sufficiently detected and fixed.
Reliable, real-time water quality data from sensors is increasingly being shown to be of value in providing an evidence base to enable effective tackling of pollution at the catchment scale. Now, an EU Horizon 2020 Innovation funded project called INTCATCH is taking advantage of advances in monitoring technology to develop innovative, cost-effective, user-friendly, automated/remote control ‘smart’ boats equipped with multi-parameter sensors to carry out mobile, real-time water quality monitoring and mapping, linked to a decision support system.
During this webinar, Nathalie Gilbert, Project Manager for INTCATCH project at Thames21, outlined the potential of mobile sensor platforms to enable a paradigm shift in how water quality is monitored and who is able to carry out the monitoring. This focus aims to move the water and environment sectors towards ‘SMART’ Rivers and Lakes and evidence-based monitoring and decision making.