Home » News »

Water Sense: or Polish rivers under the watchful eye of IoT

Water Sense station

The innovative Water Sense technology serves the purpose of managing water quality in real-time. This comprehensive river condition threat identification system operates based on Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and utilizes autonomous measuring stations. Importantly, Water Sense continuously signals risks to ecosystems, predicts potential environmental impacts, and helps prevent ecological disasters.

The solution was developed by engineers from Magly in cooperation with the Centre for Advanced Materials and Technologies (CEZAMAT-WUT), the Polish Institute of Meteorology and Water Management (IMGW-PIB), and Nebucode.

In Poland, as in the rest of Europe, we are still grappling with water pollution caused by industrial activities, sewage discharges, and excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture. The environmental costs are borne by all of us—from the loss of biodiversity in rivers and negative impacts on human health to higher water treatment costs and limitations on water use for recreational purposes.

The motivation to create Water Sense stemmed from the need to monitor and protect rivers due to increasing water quality issues in Poland. According to the system's creator, over 99% of Polish rivers are in poor condition, and continuous monitoring is crucial to initiate actions aimed at improving the current situation. However, it was necessary to create a technological solution that considers the differences between riverine and marine/oceanic conditions—existing tools mainly focused on the latter group. Measuring stations available on the market are adapted to ocean conditions and powered by solar panels, which are unsuitable for Polish conditions as they would require battery replacement almost every few days. Additionally, sensor contamination is problematic—ocean water is much cleaner than river water, necessitating the use of disposable sensors on special rolls that can handle the river biofilm that fouls the sensors.

- The answer to these challenges and needs is Water Sense, an autonomous measuring station comprehensively monitoring water quality. By utilizing the latest technological solutions such as a micro-hydro turbine, a heating system, and disposable sensory sensors, the system is adapted to operate in various conditions and—importantly—transmit data in real-time, e.g., to the cloud. The solution is aimed at all entities interested in water quality research in Poland—not only local governments but also companies in the water and sewage industry or non-governmental organizations focused on environmental issues - explains Filip Budny, General Director of Magly and a doctoral student at the Warsaw University of Technology.

The potential of Water Sense has been repeatedly recognized—needless to say - the successes of recent weeks. In early June, the project won first place in the Idea Challenge competition in the Best Business Idea category at the Carpathian Startup Fest. In June, the results of the Hydrostrateg II program of the National Centre for Research and Development were also announced—the competition's committee positively reviewed the project and awarded it funding of PLN 22,178,017.24.