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LENKÉ Space and Water Solutions collaborates with University of Leicester to develop a new water quality analysis tool

NEWS: SPRINT funded project set to enhance resource management in sub-Saharan Africa

Water Quality Analysis Tool (WQAT) to provide users such as policymakers, water companies and local communities, with information on the quality of water that they use

LENKÉ Space and Water Solutions, an environment and resource monitoring start-up company based at Space Park Leicester, has collaborated with the University of Leicester on the development of a new Water Quality Analysis Tool (WQAT).

The project utilised high resolution satellite data to develop the WQAT to provide users such as policymakers, water companies and local communities, with information on the quality of water that they use.

By using high quality satellite data from MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer), PRISMA, Sentinel-2 and Hyperion EO1 (Earth Observing One), farmers, local communities, water companies and policymakers, will be able to use the WQAT as an application to identify and track sources of pollutants and determine their impacts on the body of water. WQAT will also be able to trace chlorophyll and sediment concentrations, and monitor the water’s surface temperature as an indicator of algal bloom and climate change.

LENKÉ envisions Ethiopia’s Rift Valley Authority, its Ministry of Water and Energy and private businesses, will use the WQAT to develop policies that will efficiently manage dwindling water resources. The company aims to empower farmers with key knowledge on minimising risks and maximising their farms’ productivity and income.

During the SPRINT project, LENKÉ constructed a method of approach for the application of water quality parameters from literatures based on the University of Leicester’s model. It also developed a roadmap for scaling up and transferability capability of WQAT.

The project with the University of Leicester was funded from the £7.5 million SPRINT (SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology) programme. SPRINT provides unprecedented access to university space expertise and facilities. SPRINT helps businesses through the commercial exploitation of space data and technologies.

Dr Nkeiruka Onyia, Co-founder and CEO at LENKÉ Space and Water Solutions said: “Working with the University of Leicester, we used both satellite and on-ground data to apply to the model for testing.

“The SPRINT project was successful in helping to lay out the roadmap for expansion and has provided a foundation on what we do next. This was the first big step in helping us to materialise the product in readiness for commercially launching it.”

Lensa Jotte, Researcher at the University of Leicester added: “Using the University’s research expertise, we were able to help the company to prove the concept, with a view to producing a prototype and investigating how to scale that up.”

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