Smart robot monitors SEQ water quality

The State Government has adopted space-age technology to monitor water quality at South East Queensland’s biggest dam.

A solar-powered smart robot and 120 sensor nodes were now positioned around Wivenhoe Dam to provide real-time data on water quality and weather conditions.

"The space-aged monitoring system provides data at a level of speed not seen before about any event that may affect raw water quality which ultimately affects cost," said Natural Resources Minister Stephen Robertson Robertson said.

Water authority, Seqwater is now able to cost effectively monitor water quality, flows and weather conditions, and even the movement of cattle on the shore. The autonomous solar-powered catamaran travels between the floating nodes gathering real time data and performing maintenance.

"The 120 nodes collect a range of information from water temperature at various depths, to stock movements on land, and weather data across the catchment. The use of this world-class technology reinforces the State Government’s water grid’s reputation as one of the greatest examples of water management in the world."

The project also marks the first time such a system has been used to monitor greenhouse gas emissions, something many businesses, including water authorities, are now being asked to report on. This project is the result of collaborative research agreements between CSIRO, the University of Queensland (UQ), and Seqwater – that were signed in 2007.