Financial advisory firm Bosch Capital has been appointed by environmental and water governance, risk and compliance specialist Carin Bosman Sustainable Solutions (CBSS) to support the commercial development of the new Leguaan software- as-a-service (SaaS) water-quality monitoring, data visualisation and reporting tool.
This project is supported by the Water Research Commission’s Water Technologies Demonstration Programme.
CBSS has developed this water resource management tool to facilitate the efficient conversion of water-monitoring data into meaningful visual graphs and reports that meet the specific requirements of every organisation and that facilitate effective monitoring and compliance.
CBSS founder Carin Bosman notes that some of the key advantages of this cost- efficient system are time-savings for the user, coupled with the assurance that all data is accurately converted into meaningful information and scientifically correct graphical representations that can be used to indicate and improve compliance where necessary.
“Without the correct interpretation of results, it is impossible to make informed decisions about the management adjustments that are necessary to improve consumption, reduce the water footprint and minimise impacts on water quality, as well as reduce liability risks for the organisation,” she explains.
Once the scientific integrity of the data is verified, it is swiftly converted into interactive and intelligible charts. These include salt balance diagrams, which also include nitrates; time-series graphs showing single year, multi-year and stacked-for- seasonal comparisons; box-plot diagrams for statistical evaluations; and Ficklin graphs.
“We believe that to measure is to know. Seeing one’s data helps one to better manage their resources,” she says.
All graphs and reports are provided online for users in a secure, interactive dashboard format, thereby enabling users to download and present it to their selected stakeholders.
Reports and graphs generated by this water resource management tool can be set up to compare a user’s data to the limit values in the water-use licence or any other site-specific limit value specified by a government agency.
Bosman says CBSS specialists can also assist with the development of scientifically correct site-specific limit values in accordance with the new Department of Water and Sanitation policy on water quality management.
Assisting CBSS, Bosch Capital has conducted a market analysis study to inform the development of a commercial model and business plan for the Leguaan SaaS tool. The study has indicated that the Leguaan SaaS will offer a good value proposition to customers.
“This project also includes the development of a high-level financial model to allow for the analysis of key financial drivers of the business,” explains Bosch Capital advisory and funding manager Rajiv Paladh.
Although the application is available for use to all water users, he tells Engineering News that the agriculture sector consumes the highest volume of water in South Africa and, therefore, represents a large market that could benefit from using the technology.
He adds that the training required for using the technology is minimal.
“Leguaan SaaS generates graphs that are relatively simple to understand. They are accompanied by a short report that explains the results and contains recommendations, where applicable, to assist in ensuring improvements in results,” Paladh says.
“All farmers need to know what the quality of their water is and how it will affect crops and livestock. When they receive laboratory reports, it is often a standalone report, which does not make sense for someone who does not have a background in chemistry and geohydrology,” Bosman explains.
She indicates that the Leguaan SaaS will make this information easy to understand by comparing samples taken over time with one another, applicable site-specific standards and water-quality requirements for export purposes.
Bosman hopes that using the Leguaan SaaS in the agriculture and other sectors will lead to improved water management, which, in turn, will lead to improved quality of agricultural products.
“We also believe that all regions in the country will benefit from it, from dry regions, in the Karoo, to wet regions, in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo,” she says.
CBSS has also developed the Water Monster application (app), which automates the capture of all critical field data that is necessary for the interpretation of water-quality monitoring results.
These factors include the type of sample, weather conditions at the monitoring location and observations about the colour, odour and flow of water.
Relevant field readings of variables, such as temperature, electrical conductivity and dissolved oxygen, are digitally captured.
The WaterMonster app also documents the geolocation of where the sample is taken, captures a photograph of the monitoring location and, if a sample could not be taken, records the reasons or obstacles for this.
“If a field sampler needs to purge a borehole before taking a groundwater sample, the purge-time is automatically calculated. Certain variables, such as free chlorine and dissolved oxygen, must be measured at the sampling location because concentrations change during transportation to a laboratory,” Bosman explains.
By combining the capturing efficiency of the WaterMonster app with meaningful visualisations from the Leguaan SaaS, users are able to easily convert unmanageable spreadsheets and lab reports into clear, visualised management information that can be used to inform actions of operators that contribute to improving water quality throughout South Africa.