An innovative project that monitors water quality, shares that data in real time and encourages residents to reduce pollutants has been acknowledged at the Queensland Water Awards.
The Smart Catchment: Saltwater Creek project, led by Cairns Regional Council in partnership with James Cook University, Wet Tropics Healthy Waterways and Itron Australasia, uses smart sensors, cameras and a gauging station to monitor the quality of water flowing through one of Cairns’ major urban catchments, Saltwater Creek.
By sharing this data in real time through a publicly accessible online platform, Cairns residents are being inspired and encouraged to support sustainable healthy water in the region and help protect the Great Barrier Reef.
The project also included the creation of Mobi the Mudskipper, the lead character in a series of free online education tools, initially developed by James Cook University IT students as part of a work placement at Council with the Smart Catchments: Saltwater Creek, Smart Cities and Suburbs project.
Acting Mayor Terry James said the award recognised an innovative and collaborative project that will help residents identify how they can avoid and reduce pollutants entering waterways.
“This kind of project can help to reduce our impact on the environment and support residents and businesses to do the same,” Cr James said.
“Council can use the data to improve our own infrastructure and ensure we are true to our title as a Reef Guardian Council.
“And with Mobi’s help, we are helping to educate the next generation on how to protect the environment by being hands-on crusaders.”
The project was named winner of the Program Innovation Award (servicing under 250,000 end users) category.
The Queensland Water Awards recognise the contribution of Australian Water Association members in inspiring leadership and innovative research, programs and infrastructure projects.