Smart technologies will monitor the quality of urban stormwater run-off in the Cairns area under a new project to help protect the reef.
Cairns Regional Council Deputy Mayor Terry James said the city was proud to lead the way in adopting new technologies for environmental benefit, especially since 2018 is the International Year of the Reef.
The Reducing Urban Impact on the Great Barrier Reef project will include installation of up to 30 water-monitoring sensors to deliver real-time data on levels of nutrients, sediments and other contaminants that may be carried out to sea.
This will help plan and improve stormwater infrastructure and water treatment processes to ensure urban water run-off is not harming the reef or marine life.
James Cook University acting vice-chancellor, Professor Chris Cocklin, said researchers from the university’s Internet of Things (IoT) program would bring local knowledge and cutting-edge expertise to the project.
“JCU’s IoT engineers already use smart sensor networks to deliver real-time data from tropical field sites, enabling researchers to monitor marine and natural environments from anywhere in the world,” Professor Cocklin said. “We see great potential for this technology to help make Cairns a truly smart city.”
The Australian Government is committing 50 per cent of the funding for the $1.66 million project, with Cairns Regional Council, James Cook University, Wet Tropics Healthy Waterways, Itron Australasia and FNQ NRM providing the remainder.
All infrastructure for the project will be in place within the next 12 months.