February 24, 2024

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CSIRO to Develop Water Quality Forecast System

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CSIRO, the Australian national science agency, has announced the launch of AquaWatch Australia, an initiative aimed at introducing the first-ever water quality monitoring system from the ground to space, catering to both Australia and the world.

Once fully operational, AquaWatch will deliver near real-time updates and predictive forecasting, similar to a weather service but for water quality. The program will leverage an extensive network of Earth observation satellites and ground-based water sensors to enable improved water quality management. It will provide early warnings for harmful events, including toxic algal blooms, blackwater, and runoff contamination.

In addition to enhancing water quality management, the AquaWatch system will bolster the resilience of Australian communities that rely on water and improve outcomes for the natural environment in the aftermath of events like bushfires and floods.

CSIRO is collaborating with SmartSat CRC, its foundation partner, to bring together research, government, and industry stakeholders. The development and design of AquaWatch will involve an initial co-investment of $83 million.

CSIRO’s Chief Executive emphasised the significance of water as a vital resource in Australia and worldwide. The AquaWatch Australia initiative is designed to provide extensive water quality monitoring that would enhance water quality management in various sectors. The system aims to provide predictive forecasting, allowing for early warning on harmful water events such as toxic algal blooms, blackwater, and runoff contamination.

AquaWatch Australia will leverage Earth observation satellites and other science capabilities such as in-situ sensing, ecosystem modelling, engineering, data science, and artificial intelligence. It is part of CSIRO’s Missions Program, a large-scale scientific research initiative that seeks to accelerate problem-solving for some of the nation’s most significant challenges. The program aims to increase the resilience of Australian communities that depend on water and improve outcomes for the natural environment after events such as bushfires and floods.

AquaWatch will collaborate with various implementation partners to expand its monitoring capabilities from rivers to coasts. The initiative will have the ability to monitor water quality in bays, coastal wetlands, aquaculture farming, mangrove forests, and coral reefs, including the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef.

According to SmartSat’s CRC Chief Executive Officer space technology will play a significant role in the AquaWatch initiative and will be critical in developing an accurate understanding of Australia’s water systems. As the foundational partner for AquaWatch, SmartSat CRC has partnered with CSIRO to establish several pilot projects aimed at developing technologies to monitor and manage Australia’s water resources effectively.

These cooperative projects bring together research partners, government, and industry to cover integrated ground-to-space water quality monitoring systems for inland, estuarine, and near-coastal water bodies.

The AquaWatch partnership is an excellent example of the benefits of cross-agency collaboration and demonstrates the potential to achieve much more when combining efforts and know-how for the benefit of all Australians. The collaborative effort to leverage data gathered from satellites will play a crucial role in safeguarding Australia’s future water supply and improving the natural environment.

Once operational, AquaWatch will integrate data from both water sensors and satellites into a central data hub. CSIRO’s expertise in data analysis and AI will then provide forecasts a few days in advance. The system is currently being tested through six pilot sites around Australia, where it is being used to monitor toxic blue-green algae blooms at Lake Tuggeranong in Canberra, among other uses.

The system is also being tested along Australia’s coasts, with a pilot project focused on monitoring how sediment flow from the Fitzroy River out to the Great Barrier Reef affects water quality. Additional pilots established overseas will demonstrate how AquaWatch can be used to monitor water quality for various purposes, such as drinking, sanitation, species conservation, hydroelectricity, and carbon sequestration in mangrove forests.

The AquaWatch Mission involves collaboration between CSIRO, SmartSat CRC, and a network of partners from government, industry, and research organisations. Among these partners are government agencies such as the ACT Government’s Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, the Queensland Department of Environment and Science, and Western Australia’s Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

The mission also includes industry partners as well as universities and research organisations such as ANU Institute for Water Futures, ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society, Curtin University, La Trobe University, and the University of Queensland.

International collaborators include CSIRO Chile, Hanoi University of Mining and Geology, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, the University of California, Davis, the University of California, Merced, and Vietnam’s National Center for Water Resources and Investigation.

The mission aims to develop and implement a system that integrates data from various sources to provide accurate and timely monitoring and forecasting of water quality for a range of applications.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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