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Water, boundaries and borders, the great intangibles in water quality management: can new technologies enable more effective compliance?

Water, boundaries and borders, the great intangibles in water quality management: can new technologies enable more effective compliance?
Water, boundaries and borders, the great intangibles in water quality management: can new technologies enable more effective compliance?
The challenge of improving water quality has been a longstanding global concern. There has also been a general acceptance that the main drivers of poor water quality are economics, poor water management, agricultural practices, and urban development. Development, implementation, and compliance with transboundary water quality agreements, whether they be across basin, across water bodies or across national or international boundaries, remains constrained by our ability to monitor their effectiveness in real time. Despite significant advances in sensor and communication technologies, water quality monitoring (WQM) is primarily undertaken through small-scale and single-application sampling and testing that is limited by the available techniques, requires expensive highly technical instrumentation, and only provides selective data for decision support tools. The effects of diffuse pollutants and their distribution within water bodies and transboundary rivers systems are, therefore, difficult to capture, as is determination of the exact point and timing of their release into a defined “water system”.

Improved data capture and timely analysis, enabled by innovative sensor technologies and communication networks, is an important aspect of compliance monitoring. This is particularly important for international and trans-border agreements where changes in water distribution, quality, and availability associated with regional climate variability are already creating challenges for future water, energy, and food security. Therefore, it is argued that by including all the multi-level impacts of various stakeholders in a water catchment, on water resources, and by removing the long lead times between when the sample was taken to when sample testing and data analysis has been completed, it is possible to develop and implement an effective water quality monitoring and management framework.

This paper examines the prospect of improved sensor technologies and assessment frameworks that have the potential to be linked with water quality governance, polices and compliance requirements. By employing, a real time integrated and targeted monitoring system, which allows for the assessment of both the catchment functions and modifications to those functions or (eco) services by the various stakeholders, improvements in water quality is possible.
water resources, catchments, sensors, networks, policy, governance, monitoring
Coles, N.
e79edc82-0374-46ee-95be-1c58703ad44d
Camkin, J.
254fee20-79a1-42f1-8171-b3fb09d26b29
Harris, N.R.
237cfdbd-86e4-4025-869c-c85136f14dfd
Cranny, A.
2ebc2ccb-7d3e-4a6a-91ac-9f089741939e
Hall, P.
d94fc973-0aac-4c84-b8af-1601491aedf9
Zia, Huma
74118b4c-35ab-44e8-a44f-daa4cc6f83e8
Coles, N.
e79edc82-0374-46ee-95be-1c58703ad44d
Camkin, J.
254fee20-79a1-42f1-8171-b3fb09d26b29
Harris, N.R.
237cfdbd-86e4-4025-869c-c85136f14dfd
Cranny, A.
2ebc2ccb-7d3e-4a6a-91ac-9f089741939e
Hall, P.
d94fc973-0aac-4c84-b8af-1601491aedf9
Zia, Huma
74118b4c-35ab-44e8-a44f-daa4cc6f83e8

(2013) Water, boundaries and borders, the great intangibles in water quality management: can new technologies enable more effective compliance? Transboundary water management across borders and interfaces: present and future challenges (TWAM2013), Portugal. 16 - 20 Mar 2013. 5 pp .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

The challenge of improving water quality has been a longstanding global concern. There has also been a general acceptance that the main drivers of poor water quality are economics, poor water management, agricultural practices, and urban development. Development, implementation, and compliance with transboundary water quality agreements, whether they be across basin, across water bodies or across national or international boundaries, remains constrained by our ability to monitor their effectiveness in real time. Despite significant advances in sensor and communication technologies, water quality monitoring (WQM) is primarily undertaken through small-scale and single-application sampling and testing that is limited by the available techniques, requires expensive highly technical instrumentation, and only provides selective data for decision support tools. The effects of diffuse pollutants and their distribution within water bodies and transboundary rivers systems are, therefore, difficult to capture, as is determination of the exact point and timing of their release into a defined “water system”.

Improved data capture and timely analysis, enabled by innovative sensor technologies and communication networks, is an important aspect of compliance monitoring. This is particularly important for international and trans-border agreements where changes in water distribution, quality, and availability associated with regional climate variability are already creating challenges for future water, energy, and food security. Therefore, it is argued that by including all the multi-level impacts of various stakeholders in a water catchment, on water resources, and by removing the long lead times between when the sample was taken to when sample testing and data analysis has been completed, it is possible to develop and implement an effective water quality monitoring and management framework.

This paper examines the prospect of improved sensor technologies and assessment frameworks that have the potential to be linked with water quality governance, polices and compliance requirements. By employing, a real time integrated and targeted monitoring system, which allows for the assessment of both the catchment functions and modifications to those functions or (eco) services by the various stakeholders, improvements in water quality is possible.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: February 2013
Venue - Dates: Transboundary water management across borders and interfaces: present and future challenges (TWAM2013), Portugal, 2013-03-16 - 2013-03-20
Keywords: water resources, catchments, sensors, networks, policy, governance, monitoring
Organisations: Electronics & Computer Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 348749
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/348749
PURE UUID: 09df2cbf-e7cb-46ad-997b-ef31ddc8bf3d
ORCID for N.R. Harris: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4122-2219

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 19 Feb 2013 13:34
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 13:08

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Contributors

Author: N. Coles
Author: J. Camkin
Author: N.R. Harris ORCID iD
Author: A. Cranny
Author: P. Hall
Author: Huma Zia

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