Above photo: ImpactLABS Food Security Lead Liz Wiley connects a Wellntel sensor to a solar panel
Groundwater is a limited resource, and we have precious little data about where our water is and how much of it there is.
ImpactLABS has been working with a number of groundwater presence, level, and quality monitoring companies alongside sponsors to create solutions for landowners, homeowners, and small and mid-sized businesses to enhance their water security.
Wellntel (Milwaukee, WI) sensors have been deployed on a number of projects to address groundwater level monitoring and management challenges. In Southeastern New England, for example, ImpactLABS is running a commercial program (a combination of ImpactLABS-funded pilot sites and customer-funded commercial sites) that involves both private residents and small-to-medium sized businesses who have installed sensors that measure the depth to water in their wells.
With access to this data, residents and businesses alike can observe detailed information about current and historical water levels in their wells, and with simple shares to see how their water usage affects neighbors. ImpactLABS is collaborating with Wellntel and sponsors to add even more power to this data, including forecasting tools.
The right information about groundwater is helping people and businesses make smarter decisions about water consumption and conservation, and more powerfully, how to think about this shared resource as a community seeking resilience.
In this interview, Marian Singer, CEO of Wellntel, explains how the simple sensors work and what Wellntel is planning for the future.
Can you tell us about Wellntel sensor kits– what they do, and how they can contribute to resilience and sustainability?
Wellntel is a groundwater information system. Our simple sensors are designed to be deployed in networks on existing, private domestic and agriculture wells. They don’t touch water and continuously monitor resting and pump-influenced groundwater levels. Data is automatically transferred to the cloud using the well owner’s internet connection and displayed online in intuitive charts that show hourly, daily, monthly, and seasonal changes, year over year. This data is available to the well owner and anyone that he or she choses to share data with. The result is a cost-effective monitoring network that well owners and their communities need to view trends, model water resources, and plan for sustainable management.
Describe how you work with ImpactLABS.
We work with ImpactLABS to understand and plan their community-based groundwater level monitoring network deployments, to monitor ongoing systems’ operations and to provide support and guidance as needed to ensure that data continues to flow.
What are the benefits of working with ImpactLABS?
We really enjoy working with and learning from the ImpactLABS team. They have talented people in the field who provide detailed feedback on system operation and with whom we can brainstorm to solve technical challenges. Their observations and suggestions for improvement are a valuable input to our continual improvement process.
What are the next steps for Wellntel?
Our business model is pretty simple: we succeed when local communities have the data needed to manage their groundwater sustainability for the long term. Our focus is on working with local leaders and stakeholders to engage citizens and grow the awareness and insight needed to build resilience into their groundwater management plans. We’re currently in 26 states and look forward to having deployments in all 50 states in the not so distant future.