Oral Presentation Australasian Groundwater Conference 2017

Smart water science? Using the internet-of-things to collect hydrological data (#156)

Megan Hancock Lane 1 , Graham Green 1 , Roger Cranswick 1 , Graham Blair 1 , Juliette Woods 1 , Daniel Pierce 1
  1. DEWNR, Adelaide, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, Australia

Like you, we wondered whether the new technology and infrastructure^ for the internet-of-things (IoT) represents an enormous opportunity to collect huge amounts of environmental data at low cost. Unsurprisingly, other people agreed and granted us funding to implement one of the first applied IoT hydrology projects in Australia. Eschewing talk of the technology #HypeCycle, our gen-y scientists were terribly enthusiastic. Our baby-boomer scientists to this day remain sceptical. One thing we all share is a curiosity about the uncertainties and limitations of the new network. We’d like to share our findings.

We will present:

  • an overview of the new Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN)^;
  • a frank discussion of the accuracy, precision and reliability of IoT sensors;
  • how the network communicates with our existing data management platforms; and
  • the return on investment for our organisation.

Our proof-of-concept research project focusses on two applications: 1) real-time tracking of flood height and extent, and 2) transmission of daily water usage data from metered dams and bores to the regulating agency. Could this be a promising frontier for hydrological data collection? We’d like to build a conversation on the potential applications (and implications) of this technology.

The raw data sets and full report will soon be available on our website: https://www.waterconnect.sa.gov.au/Science-and-Research/Science.

^ By end-2017, the Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) will cover 95% of Australia and NZ’s population. In Europe, the network is mature and is being used to track/monitor/manage all sorts of things. Low-cost sensors (< $50) use radio signals to send/receive small payloads of data (8-12 bytes, < 140 msgs/day/device) to the cloud over distances up to 20 km. Subscription is around $2/year/device. The sensor tech in Australia is immature, however is moving quickly.

  • We are offering awards for Career and Early Career presentations and posters. Please indicate length of time since highest degree completed.: 5 Years or more