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Singapore leads the way in water monitoring with new project

Monitoring water just got a little more elegant in Singapore, with the island state releasing five robotic swans into its reservoirs to help keep track of water quality.

Singapore’s national water agency PUB announced the Smart Water Assessment Network (SWAN) project earlier this year, which uses robotic swans to monitor raw water quality at the Marina, Punggol, Serangoon, Pandan and Kranji reservoirs.

Offering real-time spatial-temporal water quality data, the robotic swans collect this data and monitor key indicators of fresh water quality, such as pH value, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and chlorophyll.

The robotic swans also monitor algae growth in case of an outbreak.

Each robot swan can perform simultaneous multi-node, high-speed sensing for observing concentration gradients, resulting in better characterisation and detection of time-varying contamination areas.

The aim of the project is to ease the burden of water authorities in deploying limited manpower to physically collect samples from water bodies, particularly to areas that are difficult to reach.

Utilising GPS technology, each robotic swan is able to track the dynamics of water quality, and will not monitor areas unless programmed to do so. It’s expected that the swan’s large coverage will improve the efficiency of current water monitoring methods, which are labour intensive.