Author: Jessica Hudson
Dutch astronomers and ecologists are working with Leiden University on a project, MONOCLE, that allows people to measure the quality of their water, simply by taking a photo with their smartphones.
The team, led by astronomer Frans Snik, previously made a device that, when attached to phones, monitored air pollution.
Their new invention also attaches a special measuring device to a phone’s camera, this time to take a photo of the water’s surface and the sky, allowing the general public to help monitor water quality. Each picture taken works together to classify how the weather is affecting the water’s appearance, gauging the level of pollution in a way the naked eye cannot.
Multiple uploads, along with physical samples, will be compared and compiled into a database that will ultimately detect possible contamination. It could prove to be an essential tool in developing regions where conventional water testing isn’t available.
Currently, the MONOCLE project plans to operate in five locations: Baloton Lake in Hungary, Loch Leven in Scotland, Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania, the Donau Delta in Romania, and the lake area near Stockholm.
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Jessica interned at Planet Ark in 2018. Studying Communication and minoring in Environmental Analysis and Policy at Boston University, she spent a trimester in Sydney Australia.