AUGUST 30th, 2018. STOCKHOLM — Aqulytics Engineer, Pavel Aquino and Gabriel Lupu (Sr. Software Engineer) presented an abstract at World Water Week. Details below:
Enabling smart collaboration for the sustainable use of water
- We designed a unique cloud-based technology platform that integrates multiple historic water records incorporating public and private sources.
- We consolidated 1.5 million geo-referenced data entries with physical, chemical, biological and organoleptic parameters, linked to mining discharges.
- We incorporate community monitoring, helping communities upload, store and process their data online.
collaborative and participative monitoring; open data; water monitoring
Intro and Objectives
Peru´s water monitoring infrastructure linked to extractive activities is scattered, piecemeal and of limited access to the wider public, resulting in the emergence of social-environmental conflicts. We are piloting an open and online water data management system, using tailored algorithms, and participative monitoring technologies that integrate complementary health data that are providing comprehensive insights as to the quality of water resources in mining regions of Peru. The research will share with participants the mechanisms to process and generate data and the findings generated by the database.
Methodology and Approach
The research combines quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches. Information has been compiled from primary and secondary sources, with a strong focus on data systematization and codification; while generating interviews with different stakeholders related to environmental monitoring of mining activities in Peru. Our research questions where: 1. how can we propitiate an all-encompassing data monitoring system to capture, systematize and measure the quality of water, building on collaborative processes? 2. how can we support real-time qualitative water monitoring; 3. how can we scale up the process and promote its use for other productive sectors? The data will support informed policy making.
Analysis and Results
We have systematized 1.5 million geo-referenced data entries on water discharges covering physical, chemical, biological and organoleptic parameters (focused on the mining sector). We have identified over 73,000 parameters that exceed maximum permissible levels for the period 1993-2016. The parameters with the highest recurrence are PH, Lead, Total Suspended Solids, Iron, Zinc, Copper, and Dissolved Oxygen. Furthermore, we have also identified that the 73,000 parameters that exceed limits also impact river body readings. Currently, over 100,000 parameters of river bodies near discharge points exceed national environmental quality standards. These numbers should be approached with caution: we are currently running tests using tailor made algorithms to help us identify and prevent data anomalies, considering that available water data lack input-quality filters. Furthermore, we are also in the process of interpreting results in 382 different districts that co-exist with mining activities.
Another important result of our research points out to the importance of enhancing the scope and type of information required to build a comprehensive database on the quality of water, and its impact over social-environmental conflicts. Developing new sources of data, including participative and community water monitoring inputs, as well as qualitative information is helping us address the gaps found in official data sources.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Lack of access to data and coherent sources on the quality of water linked to mining discharges, together with the absence of verifiable official data require the use of alternative sources and technologies to support the appropriate monitoring of water discharges. Our results show that technology contributes to filing the data gaps of water monitoring while supporting collaboration for the sustainability of water resources.