Fresh water – one of the world‘s most valuable resources

Of the nearly 1.4 billion km³ of water covering the earth, fresh water represents merely 2.6% or 36 million km³. About one third of this amount circulates reasonably quickly and is thus referred to as hydrological cycle.

This may sound like a huge quantity but compared to the 146 million m³ of water consumed annually by, for example, the population of a metropolis like the Austrian capital Vienna, and assuming a 100 m³ per capita consumption, this seemingly large amount is virtually insigni‡ cant. The per capita consumption is nearly twice as high in the United States and Canada.

While private households consume only 10%, agriculture is responsible for the bulk of almost two thirds of the global fresh water consumption and industry accounts for the remainder. Both of the latter sectors show a clear increase in consumption. Based on this data we can easily extrapolate that we will consume the entire circulating rainwater and thus no longer feed the natural aquifer storage system.

Equally distributed access to fresh water, which is important for health, should have top priority for decision-makers.

From today‘s perceptive one could say that the effects of global warming will worsen this situation even further. According to developed
scenarios, there will be not only more droughts but the urgently needed precipitation will increasingly be in the form of torrential rains and flooding thus making supplying high-quality drinking water dif‡ cult despite a momentarily more than abundant precipitation.

The following countermeasures seem to be sensible:

  • Improve the water system ef‡ ciency, e.g. by reducing leaks and reducing per capita consumptionImprove the water system effectiveness, e.g. by selecting water quality with the help of user criteria
  • Set up suf‡ cient drinking water supplies even in areas without suf‡ cient precipitation, and without emissions adding to the
    greenhouse effect
  • Treat fresh water resources with utmost caution and continuously monitor its quality

The European Union has a number of rules and regulations securing good water quality including in particular the Water Framework Directive and more recently, what is known as daughter directives.

The modular waterpointer platform makes simple and effective continuous water quality monitoring possible.

Key components

Sensor system in a ’ exible measuring head Up to 8 sensors for real-time water quality monitoring
Standard con‡figuration:
• pH
• Temperature
• Dissolved oxygen
• Conductivity
• Turbidity

Built-in calibration and cleaning system

Calibration includes automatic sensor
cleaning with rotating brushes and a spraying
system once a day by using standard
liquids in separate containers (25-50ml per
calibration). Each container holds 5,000ml
of calibration liquid.

• Single point calibration for pH 6.9 or 9.2
• Oxygen saturation in ambient air
• Two point calibration for conductivity

Sampling and air-conditioned storage

  • 24 bottles of 1,000ml each
  • Sampling and storage unit air-conditioned at +4°C
  • User selectable modes

Sample handling including pump control

Data processing unit with signal processing, data storage, Internet connection, web server functionality and built-in high-speed data processing with the following features:

  • signal processing
  • data storage
  • Powerful watchdog with backup function
  • Convenient web interface with various user privileges
  • Measurement results and error messages automatically sent by email, SMS, or central software

Three main operating modes

  • Periodical sampling
  • Random sampling
  • Continuous monitoring with automatic sampling when the maximum permissible value is exceeded or remote-controlled, manual sampling.

All important information including operating data such as calibration, cleaning pro‡ les and sampling mode selection are accessible via the Internet.