Digitalizing Water Monitoring

Managing water resources has always been important, but that monitoring is becoming increasingly high-tech and much more useful. Rather than a spot check at the tap, or a crude measurement of water levels in a reservoir, chips are making it possible to monitor and measure water quantity and quality at the source, wherever it is stored, the spigot, and in the wastewater systems.

As climate change and unchecked population growth pressures water supplies, every drop counts. Some new sensors and networks show promise by making sensors and the networks cheaper.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets a limit on drinking water systems in the U.S. of 90 contaminants, including both chemical and microbial. That testing must be done on schedule, although states can make more stringent rules.

The European Parliament also monitors for and limits contaminants and recently launched a watch list to monitor for two endocrine disrupting substances — beta-estradiol and nonylphenol — which can have an effect on human physiological and biochemical processes. The EU revised its drinking water standards in 2020 and made its wastewater standards more stringent.

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