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Water management challenges in AUS

Supplier: Campbell Scientific Australia By: Steve Bailey
10 May, 2010

Accurate and reliable monitoring of Australia's water resources has never been more critical.

In recent years, a significant amount of effort and resources have been committed, by both government and private entities, to the management of Australia's natural resources, predominantly water.

Discussions of desalination plants and buy-back of irrigation licenses have been hot political topics and the respective federal governments have committed large sums of money to better understand the national water budget and manage its use.

Part of this process includes the publication of a list of organisations with a data reporting requirement. These organisations are generally water resource management authorities who monitor and manage water usage in a specific area.

Monitoring the natural resources of the country has many hurdles to overcome, one of which is the logistical issues involved in having to monitor sites that are in remote and challenging locations. Ensuring the accuracy of the data that is recorded at these sites is another significant challenge, and is one that often can't easily be corrected if the measurements aren't done well initially. Site conditions such as temperature extremes, power limitations and telemetry availability all contribute to making the delivery of quality data more difficult.

For example a site in a deep valley (where many rivers tend to be) often don’t receive many hours of effective solar panel charging weather in a day. Similarly, these sites are notoriously difficult to get telemetry coverage due to the physical obstructions and the angles at which some antennas must be mounted.

CSA manufacture a range of rugged data loggers that are designed with these conditions in mind. Their low power design ensures that a site with a limited or no access to power is not a reason to exclude the site from the monitoring scheme. Similarly, the data loggers are designed to operate accurately over a wide temperature range to cope with the most demanding environmental conditions.

The CR800, CR850 and CR1000 data loggers have been widely used in hydrological and hydrographic applications throughout Australia and many other countries throughout the world. Their flexibility and their ability to perform complex tasks with ease provide peace of mind for both system designers and field operators.

The ability for these data loggers to be customized and reconfigured allows the same hardware to be used at all sites in a network with a minimal amount of fuss. The same logger can be configured with a radio, a cell phone, a satellite phone, cable connections or combinations of these to suit the application. Looking for a SCADA interface? These data loggers support a number of open protocols to provide easy interfacing to PLC’s or SCADA monitoring systems.

The CRBasic programming language provides the tools required to build custom applications or to support special protocols. The Campbell Scientific data loggers support all commonly used sensor types and telemetry options, which can often prove to be a very cost-effective solution when compared to another device such as a PLC with all the various analog measurement cards.