Oh buoy! What's that?
THE appearance of a small, yellow, boat-like object floating in the River Blackwater at the rear of the Mallow Search and Rescue premises has left locals scratching their heads in puzzlement.
The brightly coloured 'low-cost monitoring buoy' is a key element of a major new initiative to gather, analyse, transmit and use water quality data from Ireland's river network.
The project is being undertaken by the CIT based Nimbus Centre for Embedded Systems Research in conjunction with the Cork City and County councils and the Mallow Development Partnership.
The buoy will be used to gather a wide variety of data including water depth, current speed, pH, temperature and turbidity (cloudiness of water). If the experiment proves to be successful, further parameters will be added in the future.
The information gathered by the monitoring buoy, which will be tethered to an anchor block on the riverbed, will be collated by the Nimbus base Water Systems and Services and Innovation Centre (WSSIC).
The aim is to use the information gathered as a catalyst to transform the water infrastructure in Cork and across Ireland into a modern 'best-in-class' water network.
In a briefing document given to the Mallow Anglers club, WSSIC project manager Kevin Fitzgibbon said information gathered by researchers at CIT will be used to develop and test the system.
"It it's successful, there are many potential beneficiaries such as anglers, Inland Fisheries, the EPA and local authorities," said Mr Fitzgibbon.
"The data could also be presented via a website with appropriate charts," he added.