Public Lab Research note

Cross-posting:: The Tapajos River communities begin to monitor water quality with sensor

by stevie | December 01, 2015 18:35 01 Dec 18:35 | #12467 | #12467

This is a cross-posting from InfoAmazonia's blog page, and google-translated from Portuguese. Check out the original post with pictures here. The above photo came from InfoAmazonia.

Neat project, we were lucky to hear more about it at this year's Barnraising from @vjpixel.

Blog post by: Giovanny Vera 11/24/2015 17:20

Did you know that 73% of Brazil's fresh water is in the Amazon? But, however, the water content addressed in this region is about 22% less than the rest of Brazil?

With this in mind, the Network Project InfoAmazonia developed with support from Google Social Impact Challenge, a low-cost monitoring system that analyzes water quality for human consumption in the Amazon. We are also creating an articulated monitoring network with communities. The water data collected by Mother Moorhen sensor will be shown in real time on InfoAmazonia site and alerts are sent to consumers via SMS.

"What we do is monitor this water is untreated water that people gather from different sources, such as wells, ponds or even directly from the river," said VJ pixel, Network coordinator InfoAmazonia. "We consider that our project is precisely to give relevant information to people about the water they are consuming," he adds.

During the month of October, InfoAmazonia Network team was in the region of the Lower Tapajós, Pará, to conduct training workshops for the installation and maintenance of the sensors in Santarém, Belterra and Mojuí dos Campos. In full sensors were installed in 18 points of these municipalities, both in communities, villages and cities.

The mission began in Santarém on 13 October with events on 14, 15 and 16. In the first two days happened electronics workshops in partnership with the Health & Joy Project and the Federal University of Western Pará (UFOPA) a basic electronics and other advanced electronics. On the last day, was presented the design of quality sensors water InfoAmazonia Network and made ​​operational demonstration Mother of the water. During this workshop were chosen, with the decision of the participants, local that would be monitored. Points Once defined, the volunteers were responsible for making contact with the responsible and ensure a minimum structure (access to the site, stairs and electricity) for installation along with the project team.

After defining the points to be monitored, three teams were created to carry out installation of the sensors. One remained on the right bank of the Tapajós River to facilities in the urban area of ​​Santarém, Belterra, National Forest Tapajos and Mojuí dos Campos. The other teams crossed to the left bank to carry out the facilities in communities and villages in the Extractive Reserve (Resex) Tapajós-Arapiuns.

The first installation was made on Saturday the 17th, at the headquarters of the Health & Joy Project, and other facilities were soon made. In Resex seven points were installed, one of them in an Indian village. Each installation lasted between 1:30 a.m. and 3 hours, with a direct participation of the inhabitants of each monitoring point.

The main difficulty technique was that "we had hoped that the water tanks stay full most of the time, and found that they empty with a very high frequency," said Pixel. The solution was to place a small container in the water tank with sensors so that if the water of the water tank runs out, they will continue to be submerged. If the sensors remain out of water for a long time they stop working.

The participation of volunteers and officials was one of the most valuable contributions of the communities. Local and residents own leaders understand the need to know the quality of the water they use and drink in their homes. "Communities are the direction of the project. The project was created for communities to have an information network that help them better manage alternative systems and the charge of the competent bodies the quality of water supply guarantee, "said Gina Leite, the InfoAmazonia Network.

The communities that were installed the equipment, InfoAmazonia Network only guided the installation. So the first stage of training was more theoretical, and the second part was a practical training, explained Pixel. It was done that way because it is necessary that the person knows to get the equipment for both lead to another place as to service. "We need to empower people in the misuse of the equipment and also in design methodology," says Pixel.

"The project, besides being innovative brings the issue of transparency regarding information on water quality. Having control of water quality in real time and accessible via the Internet is an extraordinary contribution to the quality of life "Paulo Lima, Health & Joy Project Currently the product is in the validation phase of the information that is picking up and is a very important step to create reliability in the data, says Gina Leite. Then the site will be launched to give visibility to local conditions. "We hope that the initiative provokes more interest communities, schools, universities, the media about the importance of water for health," he says.

"It is important that the very UFOPA, academics, and other organizations in the region to take ownership of the project, so that the continuity of the project does not depend on us, he become independent", recognizes Pixel. Likeminded is to Paulo Lima, Health & Happiness Project, who believes that the project should be replicated to a greater number of communities and continue its technological development to expand its analytical capacity of the water.

For InfoAmazonia Network still lack enough way to walk, to pass on knowledge and experience to learn. For now, the work continues, perfecting the system and also pointing to the dissemination of information on water quality in the Amazon, leading a transparent information to the community so that their rights are respected, and that their leaders fight for health and also the Amazon.


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