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Nutrient Sensor Challenge

US Federal Agencies, Universities, and Non-profit Organizations, Are Working Together to Deal with Nutrient Pollution, One of the Most Difficult Environmental Challenges, They Have Announced the Launch of the Nutrient Sensor Challenge to Help Accelerate the Development of Sensors that Can Be Deployed in the Environment to Measure Nutrients in Waterways 

US federal agencies, universities, and non-profit organizations, are working together to deal with nutrient pollution, one of the most difficult environmental challenges. They have announced the launch of the Nutrient Sensor Challenge to help accelerate the development of sensors that can be deployed in the environment to measure nutrients in waterways.

Last summer, half a million people from Toledo, Ohio, were advised not to drink tap water for a few days because of a harmful algal bloom, which released toxins into the water that could have made many people ill.

Algal blooms are partly caused by an excessive amount of nutrients in the water – specifically, nitrogen and phosphorus. These two nutrients are important for ecosystems, but too much of it in one place can have serious negative consequences. Not only do harmful algal blooms pose huge risks for people’s health, they can also cause fish and other aquatic wildlife to die off due to the lack of oxygen triggered by the decay of algal. A recent scientific article raised the alarm about impacts of nutrient pollution on endangered sea turtles.

Cleaning up drinking water after a harmful algal bloom can cost billions of dollars, and local economies can suffer. It’s one of the biggest and most expensive environmental problems. It’s also a particularly tough one, since nutrients can travel from far upstream, and collect in lakes or along coastlines.

To provide the information needed to better understand and more effectively manage nutrients, the coalition is coordinating innovative approaches to develop a suite of effective and affordable sensors to measure nutrients in water and on land. The group has launched the Nutrient Sensor Challenge, a two-year prize competition to accelerate the development and deployment of affordable nutrient sensors for use in aquatic environments.

Source: GPA

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