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    Internet of Things to help make the Reef greater

    Cairns is taking another step towards becoming a Smart City with water-monitoring sensors delivering real-time data to be installed in about 30 locations as part of new measures to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

    The sensors will check the levels of nutrients, sediments and other contaminants that could be carried out to the Great Barrier Reef.

    “The data collected will help plan and improve storm-water infrastructure and water treatment processes to ensure urban water run-off is not affecting the reef or its marine life,” the Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher said.

    “The world heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is one of the most iconic natural wonders of the world, which contributes billions of dollars to the Australian economy- this project will help protect it.”

    The project received $827,894 in Federal Government funding via the $50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs program.

    “For Cairns, protection of our environments is our top priority and it makes sense that our city should be setting the benchmark in environmental management,” Cairns Regional Council Deputy Mayor Terry James said.

    “To be a smart city is to be continually ready to accept new technologies as they emerge and apply them to the challenges we are facing.”

    JCU’s Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Chris Cocklin stated that researchers from the University’s Internet of Things or (loT) program would combine both local knowledge and revolutionary expertise to the scheme.

    “JCU’s loT engineers already use smart sensor network to deliver real-time data from tropical field sites, enabling researchers to monitor marine and natural environment from anywhere in the world," he said.

    "We see great potential for this technology to help make Cairns truly a smart city.”

    Infrastructure for this project will be established within the next 12 months, with the hope that this new monitoring project will provide an insight to the quality of urban storm-water run-off.