Monitoring One of Our Most Important Resources: Water

26 Apr 2018

We’re proud to be a part of MONOCLE, a Horizon 2020 project that brings together 12 leading organisations from across Europe and Africa to create sustainable in situ observation solutions for Earth Observation (EO) of optical water quality in inland and transitional waters across Europe and Africa.

The Challenge of Water Quality Monitoring

Water is one of the most precious resources we have. Water ecosystems throughout the world are particularly vulnerable to human activity and have the impact on not only overall water quality, energy, and food, but as well as large economic and sustainability impacts.

Monitoring the quality of inland and water coastal bodies can be possible today with advances in technology in a way that is reliable, efficient, at a lower cost. The Multiscale Observation Networks for Optical monitoring of Coastal waters, Lakes and Estuaries project, or MONOCLE for short, addresses the need for reliable water body data through the deployment of new and improved sensors on autonomous platforms with, combined with input from citizen scientists.

These will provide key reference observations that will further improve Earth Observation (EO) based water quality services. Today these water bodies represent the weakest performance in terms of EO capabilities and thus the new MONOCLE system will be essential in improving these capabilities.

How DroneGrid contributes to this initiative

The primary scope of DroneGrid’s contribution to the initiative is in the set up of operational protocols, sensor integration and a global operations network. With our experience in data acquisition, we set up drone flight parameters and requirements in terms of equipment, while our partner, VITO Remote Sensing takes on the task of data analytics through DroneGrid’s aerial data platform.

You can support this project, too!

Citizen scientist are a key pillar of this project. Access to smartphones and specialised apps for monitoring, every citizen on site can be a scientist collecting data for this project. This part of the initiative is lead by MONOCLE partner EarthWatch. Through already existing citizen programs, EarthWatch will open applications for new recruits and apply these sensors and methods to test sites in Europe and developing countries (Brazil and Tanzania). Stay tuned here for updates on the citizen scientist program!