Contact - Dr David Jordan. School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Faculty of Science, LJMU. (Email - D.W.Jordan@ljmu.ac.uk)
The depth at which pores in the ground are saturated is of great importance in agriculture, civil engineering, flood management, the control of greenhouse gas emissions and many other fields.
Existing automated systems to record ground water level cost upwards of £300, before adding the cost of installation.
Typically they are not networked, which can greatly increase their cost in use because they must be visited periodically to download data, and they suffer from a range of problems which compromises their accuracy. The high cost of these devices limits the number that can, typically, be deployed to monitor the groundwater levels at a site. And since groundwater content and movement is spatially variable, many monitoring sites are very spatially under-sampled.
Thus one of the greatest contributions that could be made to groundwater studies, so crucial in all the domains listed above, would be to reduce the cost of the equipment required.
The new class of device invented by Dr Jordan not only reduces the cost of such devices to the £10-£30 range, it has the potential to increase their accuracy, and present the data they acquire in real time through telemetry. A prototype was developed during the summer of 2017 and a test network of three devices was run successfully, updating a website at 10-second intervals with measurements of ground-water saturation level in three boreholes. Funding is now being sought to develop the device further so a definitive design, a parts list, assembly instructions, software and supporting guidance can be released under an open-source license and a community of users can be built.
The exhibition will include a working example of the device, a description of the principle on which it works, examples of how it will be used in projects now in gestation and supporting material presented as a poster.
This is a project with exceptional potential because it addresses a globally significant problem in a way which can naturally attract a large community of users who will be encouraged to help develop and adapt it. The aim in attending this workshop is to explore how best the system can be marketed and it’s development further funded as a non-profit-making but sustainably funded venture.