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Ganga at Haridwar - NatCONNECT pic by BN Kumar

Ganga clean or not – web-based sensors to check

Aquatic Autonomous Observatory to monitor floods, too

By VIRENDRA SINGH RAWAT

IIT Kanpur has been doing rigorous research and developing mechanisms to study its ecosystem and the impact of climate change

LUCKNOW, Nov 13 (The CONNECT) - Under an Indo-US funded project, Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) has developed a web-based system to monitor the ‘health’ of Ganga river.

The project has been jointly sponsored by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF).

The low-cost, multi-parameter, water quality monitor named Niracara Svayamsasita Vedh Shala (NSVS) consists of an array of sensors and auto sampler on a stationary platform, which is semi-submersible, all-weather, robust, and perfectly stable.

The ‘Aquatic Autonomous Observatory’ would enable in situ monitoring, real time data transmission and web-based visualisation of Ganga, IIT Kanpur said.

“The project has been implemented by a team of earth scientists, mechanical, electrical, and aerospace engineers from IIT Kanpur led by principal investigator Prof Bishakh Bhattacharya.

Coming amid the Glasgow climate change summit as it did, the development is much-needed to take the Clean Ganga exercise beyond the lip-service, said T C Ajit, who masterminded the first public awareness campaign to keep the sacred river clean.

the “Ganga is not just a river but a cultural heritage and, therefore, it is our responsibility to safeguard it from harm. IIT Kanpur has been doing rigorous research and developing mechanisms to study its ecosystem and the impact of climate change,” IIT Kanpur director Prof Abhay Karandikar said.

The new system has now been installed at the Laxman Ghat of Bithoor on the Ganges.

Having a large riverine system, India accounts for unseasonal and unpredictable floods, foam-filled toxic water bodies, and unexpected rise in water level, polluted rivers and so on; impacted by global warming and human exercises. In this context, the river monitoring system is expected to aid the conservation efforts.

The NSVS system can sense three parameters - pH, conductivity and Dissolved Oxygen capacity of water. This can be further utilised to estimate Total Dissolved Solid (TDS), specific gravity and presence of metallic ions in water.

It autonomously collects data every 15 minutes and reports it through a wireless network to the Institute. For self-sustenance, the platform is equipped with energy harvesting systems comprising solar cells and a Vortex Induced Vibration (VIV) system which can extract energy from the flow of river.

“It has an open-platform architecture, as such other institutes may also integrate their similar projects with the IIT Kanpur module in a collaborative mode,” he added.

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