Currently, the water quality monitoring conducted in relation to large-scale industrial work and projects is based mainly on manual work. These traditional methods are often cost-ineffective and unable to provide a uniform picture of water quality and causes behind it.
The target of the WONDER solution is to simplify, digitalize and standardize the water quality monitoring progress in a way that provides its users with better spatial and temporal coverage of monitoring as well as cause and effect-relationships recognition. Our aim is to develop an automated, cloud-based digital service for water quality monitoring which could be utilized globally.
The solution builds on earth observation, global positioning, crowd sourcing, internet of things (IoT) and predictive analysis. The novelty of the approach is to combine Earth Observation data (available via National Satellite Data Centre in Finland), navigation satellite system located citizen observations and continuous water quality monitoring data into Sitowise Ltd.’s Louhi WebGIS-platform. The feasibility study was conducted in co-operation between Sitowise Ltd. (prime contractor) and The Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) (subcontractor).
Users and their needs
The targeted users of the WONDER service include large infrastructure projects, energy production and other fields of industry with marked emissions or influence on water bodies. They operate under the Environmental Protection Act or Water Protection Act, which means they have legislative obligation to report the state of the environment and water quality. The targeted users place great emphasis on sustainable business and aim to conduct their operations according to the highest standards of sustainability and transparency.
The targeted users can also include environmental authorities, who oversee surface water monitoring based on Water Framework Directive and other regulations. Web-based solutions like this are a very useful tool for fulfilling the monitoring and data availability demands derived from EU-Directives.
Potential benefits of the service for the customers involve easier water quality monitoring and reporting, lower monitoring costs and the possibility to promote sustainability and transparency of actions. With ever increasing consumer demand for sustainable business practices, WONDER provides its customers with the ability to stand out as a forerunner in the field.
Service/ system concept
Our product is an automated digital service for infrastructure and industrial clients to
a) Monitor water quality impacts of the activities as required in the environmental and water permits
b) Increase the transparency and sustainability of their actions
b) Share and distribute the analysed monitoring data to authorities and other relevant stakeholders.
Water quality parameters of primary interests in the project include water transparency, turbidity, CDOM, chlorophyll-α (phytoplankton biomass indicator) and floating cyanobacteria blooms.
Current version of the service revolves primary around the turbidity monitoring but other water quality parameters of primary interest in the future include temperature, CDOM and chlorophyll-α (phytoplankton biomass indicator). Emergency incident monitoring (e.g. oil spills) could be included in the future as well.
The structure of the WONDER-service.
Space Added Value
The project utilizes Sentinel-2 and 3 satellite data, mainly from multispectral and ocean and land colour instruments. The added value of EO space assets comes from automatizing the environmental monitoring and reporting process as well as reducing the amount of professional field work required to acquire the source data for report compilation. In the case of in situ observations, the added value is the accurate time information obtained from the satellite positioning systems. Furthermore, the service adds value for the customer by gathering and compiling all available monitoring and background information in to one, easy to access web location.
A Sentinel-2 photo taken on 24 April 2017. Original photo ESA, processed by SYKE.
The feasibility study has been completed successfully with the Final Review in June 2018.
During the feasibility study, it became apparent that in addition to the potency of WONDER as a water quality monitoring and reporting tool, substantial benefits to customers could origin from the transparency and sustainability tool-approach. As such, the development approach took a turn towards sustainable businesses-orientated approach without excluding the original monitoring and reporting aspect.
During the feasibility study a mock-up version of WONDER was established on Sitowise Ltd.’s webserver to test the service’s functionality and estimate its potential in water quality monitoring. The mock-up service was presented to relevant stakeholders for verification and feedback. The stakeholders’ recognized that the service could provide them with substantial added value and the initial establishment of the service was deemed a success. As such, further refinement and development of the service was decided upon.
WONDER is currently under preparation to enter the next phase in its development, which includes pilot-demonstration for the service’s effectiveness in real-time water quality monitoring. These activities will likely take place in summer 2019.
WONDER is also actively looking for international customers or potential business affiliates interested in the service. If you would like to participate in WONDER’s development, please contact project manager Sanna Vaalgamaa at sanna.vaalgamaa(at)sitowise.com.