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Smart Biosphere - North Devon UNESCO Biosphere

Project name - Smart Biosphere

Area - North Devon UNESCO Biosphere

Organisation - Biosphere Foundation

There is no shortage of press and media coverage highlighting the poor state of our rivers and waterways in the UK. Public awareness has never been higher and the demand for cleaner rivers by the public is growing week by week.

The recent House of Commons report explains the need for increased monitoring to truly understand the water quality issues within the UK to identify the source of where issues are coming from and where to prioritise rectification efforts and budgets.

Smart Biosphere integrates real-time sensors, big data, earth observation & machine learning to create powerful insights to help landowners, water companies and the Environment Agency make improved & timely interventions.

The Smart Biosphere is a project designed to shape the future of catchment monitoring using low-cost sensors, Artificial Intelligence, data integration from the EA, Met Office, Rothamstead Research and laboratory testing.

Smart Biosphere is a catchment-scale Environmental Intelligence Platform (EIP), with HotSWLEP, Southwest Water, Siemens, Amazon, WATR, SAC & Met Office funding support.

The project unlocks multiple economic, environmental, societal and governance improvements across Devon & Somerset. 

At a time when more monitoring is being demanded, Smart Biosphere project provides a truly innovative case study to demonstrate the future of affordable, multi-network water quality monitoring. Whilst highlighting the opportunities available by intelligently integrating all available data sources.

The first phase of the project uses over 50 WATR monitoring units in the catchment. Phase 2 includes rain gauges and soil sensors. There are plans to roll the Smart Biosphere to other river catchments over 358km of rivers & 49k Ha of land across Devon & Somerset.

We were chosen to present the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere case study at the annual Rivers Trust conference to make members aware of opportunities available by utilising the latest technology to help solve large-scale water quality issues.