Challenge #2

How can we use technology to efficiently and accurately monitor and report on water quality?

 
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Context/Background:
Production forestry covers parts of New Zealand’s steepest and sometimes most erodible hill country, which contains many small headwaters and larger second and third order streams.  Protecting water quality is a very important outcome but obtaining comprehensive and consistent measurements of key water quality determinants or surrogates for them is difficult and expensive to monitor. Most forestry companies undertake some manual water monitoring.

Under the National Policy Statement for Freshwater (Freshwater NPS) the regulatory environment is increasingly setting standards and requiring proof of performance during forest activities.

Detailed Challenge Description:
PF Olsen believes an innovative solution to this problem might include combinations of technologies in GPS, drones, satellite imagery and portable multi-spectral imagery that would enable:

  • Remote determination of important measures or surrogate measures of water quality.

  • Cheap, spatially repeatable sampling with rapid or real time data interpretation.

The desired result would be a spatial report of water quality levels for forest managers.

Research/Resources:
http://www.mfe.govt.nz/fresh-water/national-policy-statement/developing-2014-nps

https://www.niwa.co.nz/our-services/instruments/instrumentsystems/products/water-quality-instruments

http://nems.org.nz/

More detailed data sets to be provided on the day for the team to work with.

This challenge has been submitted by: