Leaded, contaminated and now Galway gets smart water

Smart buoy — the source of all the data for the smart water, pictured in Galway Bay.

Smart buoy — the source of all the data for the smart water, pictured in Galway Bay.

From cryptosporidium to lead contamination, Galway now has ‘Smart Water’, compliments of IBM. To date the city’s water problems have drawn more national attention than the county hurling squad.

Now thanks to a collaboration between the American computer giant and the Marine Institute of Ireland, Galway stars in an advert alongside New York, Paris, and Kyoto. The recent IBM advert is part of a campaign to create a ‘Smarter Planet’. As part of this campaign IBM chose Galway to pilot a new ‘Smart Bay’ marine research project.

Following major technological advances in the city such as the intelligent traffic management system at Moneenageisha, the ‘SmartBay’ system has been launched in the bay.

The pilot will monitor wave conditions, marine life, and pollution levels in and around Galway Bay. IBM and the Marine Institute Ireland have worked together to install the system. Using ‘SmartBay’ they intend to develop a vision for marine research infrastructure with sensors and computational technology interconnected across the Bay.

This technology will be responsible for collecting and distributing information on coastal conditions, pollution levels, and marine life. The monitoring services, delivered via the web and other devices, are said to be of benefit to tourism, fishing, aquaculture, and the environment.

The pilot, which includes a move from manual to instrumented data gathering, will allow researchers to deploy quicker reactions to critical challenges of the Bay such as pollution, flooding, fishing stock levels, green energy generation, and the threats from climate change.

Peter Heffernan, CEO of Marine Institute Ireland said; “SmartBay offers a significant new opportunity for Irish industry to create new businesses for Irish technology companies as well as enhancing the viability of the seafood, shipping, and water monitoring sectors.”

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