SatIoT enables AquaWatch Australia’s water quality monitoring system

SatIoT enables AquaWatch Australia’s water quality monitoring system

Using a network of Earth observation satellites, along with ground-based IoT water sensors, the aim is to it will support better water quality management and provide warning of harmful events. For example, toxic algal blooms, blackwater and runoff contamination.


CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Larry Marshall highlighted that water is one of the most important resources, for Australia and also across the globe.

“The ingenuity behind AquaWatch is it integrates Earth observation with other science capabilities like insitu sensing, ecosystem modelling, engineering, data science and artificial intelligence,” he said.

“It is the latest example of CSIRO’s Missions Program which are large-scale scientific and collaborative research initiatives aimed at accelerating the pace and scale at which we can solve some of the nation’s greatest challenges.”

Working with a range of implementation partners, AquaWatch will extend from rivers to coasts, with the ability to monitor bays, coastal wetlands, aquaculture farming, mangrove forests and coral reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef.

Space technology will be a key aspect of AquaWatch – data from both the sensors in the water and on the satellites will be integrated at a central data hub. From here, CSIRO’s capability in data analysis and AI can provide forecasts a few days ahead.

SatIoT enables AquaWatch Australia’s water quality monitoring system

AquaWatch already has six pilot sites set up around the country to test the system for several uses such as monitoring toxic blue-green algae blooms at Lake Tuggeranong in Canberra, pictured above.

It is also being tested on coasts, with another pilot focused on how sediment flow from the Fitzroy River out to the Great Barrier Reef affects water quality.

SmartSat CRC

SatIoT enables AquaWatch Australia’s water quality monitoring systemThe SmartSat CRC is an Australian consortium of universities and research organisations, partnered with industry, that has been funded by the Australian Government.

Its aim is to “develop know-how and technologies in advanced telecommunications and IoT connectivity, intelligent satellite systems and Earth observation next generation data services”.

The AquaWatch Mission will brings together CSIRO and SmartSat CRC, along with a network of third parties. These include: NSW Department of Planning and Environment; Queensland Department of Environment and Science; South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI); Western Australia’s Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, plus many more.

You can download a fact sheet about the mission (PDF).

Image: CSIRO

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