BY NIGEL GRIMSLEY
Water security can be defined as the availability of a sufficient quantity and quality of water to sustain livelihoods, health, socio-economic development and ecosystems. To achieve this goal, water managers need timely access to reliable, insightful, defensible data, but with the volume and speed of data now available, will existing data infrastructure be able to cope?
Recent developments in sensors, dataloggers and telemetry, have delivered intelligent monitoring systems that are able to operate remotely, running on very low levels of power and delivering reliable data in real-time. This has prompted dramatic growth in the implementation of high-intensity monitoring systems that generate enormous volumes of data. These systems also possess advanced alarm capability; issuing alert messages by SMS, email, and more, when pre-set conditions arise.
Water management policies must be sustainable and resilient, so it is vital that both strategic and operational decisions are based on sound data. However, if data are not managed correctly, users may become “data-rich but information-poor”, so some of the most important decisions in the organisation of a monitoring programme relate to the ways in which data will be managed.
Working at every stage of the data collection process, OTT HydroMet has developed sensors that can operate remotely for extended periods; loggers that run on very low power but provide enormous data processing capability; telemetry solutions to transmit data from and to anywhere, and software that can assimilate vast quantities of data. The latest software-as-a-service (SaaS) packages, such as Hydromet Cloud and AQUARIUS, are able to provide insights and alerts, while also providing easy access to live or historical data.
In combination, the OTT HydroMet solutions – from sensor to screen – enable water managers to meet the needs of disparate stakeholders and enhance water security. So, when it comes to the management of water, big data represents a fantastic opportunity.
Nigel Grimsley is managing director of OTT HydroMet.