Regulating water quality on your phone
Imagine being a fish farmer in Italy on the Adriatic coast. After a day of hard work, you can finally visit the café and share tales with your friends when suddenly your smartphone buzzes – an app notifies you that the quality of water in your fish farm has drastically deteriorated, the app then presents you with a series of actions you can take in order to address this problem, you choose one and continue your conversation with your friends. This is what we envision.
Lagoon areas in Italy are dealing with a deterioration of water quality through water pollution and deterioration of nearby land. This seriously impacts the functioning of vulnerable coastal ecosystems and hampers the productivity of fish farms. In extreme cases, this leads to fish stock losses.
To help address this loss of productivity in fish farms, we develop an automated system which controls the quality of water at faming sites. This system collects information gathered through different (environmental, measurement, weather) sensors onto a dedicated cloud. For example, the environmental sensors measure under water oxygen levels, temperature, pH, saltiness and so forth. Simultaneously, the system informs aquaculture operators if and when critical situations are occurring in real-time through an app.
Currently, we are still in the early stages, conducting lab experiments, and stress-testing our prototype system. In the near future, our work will gradually shift to the lagoons, after which aquaculture operators will have to be taught how to operate the devices. Therefore, we plan to organize seminars and practical on-site demonstrations.
Throughout this process, we enjoy the support from Competence Centers and our Digital Innovation Hub. The Competence Centers map the issues faced by aquaculture operators and conduct research into the parameters which have to be monitored. Being part of SmartAgriHubs also informs us about other related experiments and grant opportunities. Soon aquaculture operators can react to critical situations with an espresso in one hand, and their phone in the other.