New Sensors at Great Lakes Science Center Expand CWA's Smart Lake Erie Watershed

December 8, 2023

Cleveland Water Alliance has successfully deployed two new sensor stations in downtown Cleveland, adding to its digitally connected, data-driven network in the Smart Lake Erie Watershed. At the juncture of two of Cleveland’s most iconic lakefront locations, the Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, CWA’s technology and partnerships are visible above and below the surface. Through collaborations with companies like Ohio-based Freeboard Technologies, smart sensors measuring water quality and other environmental parameters have made their home near these Great Lakes landmarks. Like the data the sensors seamlessly collect, their impact tells the story of real-world implications that flow beyond the numbers.

New Sensors Gather Valuable Water and Weather Data

Installed in early January, the Great Lakes Science Center sensors have been docked on both land and “sea” in two areas. One is near the SS. William G Mather steamship, once playing a pivotal role in the industrial transformation of Northeast Ohio, now provides real-time data around water levels, temperatures, conductivity, dissolved oxygen content, and more. These investments by Cleveland Water Alliance consist of LoRaWAN (Low-Power Wide-Area Networking) technology systems, specifically sensor kits designed and built by Freeboard Technologies, Dragino, and Tekelitic. These sensors provide cost-effective and quality information, recording weather, ground, and soil data  (including multi-depth soil temperature and moisture assessments, air temperature, precipitation, and humidity). But the information provided by the sensors goes far beyond the data they collect.

The real-time data can be accessed anytime here.

View the real-time data dashboard

Growing the Smart Lake Erie Watershed Intitiative

The Great Lakes Science Center sensors and other CWA deployments throughout the Smart Lake Erie Watershed help Cleveland build a thriving and sustainable technology ecosystem, advancing our region’s water economy. Further, the data from these efforts has the potential to inform decision-makers around our local, state, and federal policies. With increased climate instability and water scarcity, maintaining high water quality matters as much as monitoring it. Food production, manufacturing, healthcare, and, increasingly, technology companies are all impacted by the health and accessibility of our water bodies. The jobs and businesses relying on the water in our region impact Cleveland residents drastically. Lake Erie's health and resiliency are crucial to our region's economic and environmental future. 

CWA's Partnership with Great Lakes Science Center

The data collected by our sensors are just as valuable as the partnerships that continue to support and fuel the work that CWA is doing to affect real change. The Great Lakes Science Center has always played a role in Cleveland's "lakescape," educating community members through informative programming and spearheading collaborative solutions for a myriad of challenges. Cleveland Water Alliance Board Chair and President and CEO of Great Lakes Science Center, Dr. Kirsten Ellenbogen has launched initiatives implementing emerging technologies (like Blockchain and IoT) that have not only served to educate youth and cultivate community-led solutions but aided in fostering innovative technologies in the water industry for public health, safety, and economic development. Partnerships like these make it possible for Cleveland Water Alliance to create innovative and interconnected freshwater solutions for our region and beyond.

The work Cleveland Water Alliance is doing is measured and meaningful; installing and utilizing the Great Lakes Science Center as a sensor station is part of the overall network of technology that CWA is employing to serve the Great Lakes region, secure and sustain our water, and solve critical global water challenges.

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