October 2015 - The Kemp Stations 1 & 2 positioned within the Thesen Islands canal network are recording data 24 / 7 on temperature, tidal change, pH, dissolved oxygen and salinity. The supply voltage to the system is also recorded which indicates satisfactory power supply and thus the adequate telematic transfer of data to the Zednet server for internet access by authorised KBP users.
The Zednet platform is continuously being upgraded to suit user needs and to facilitate interpretation of the real-time data.
The Thies climate sensor unit positioned at Station 1 recently sent for repairs to OTTHach at their expense is due for redeployment shortly. The real time data recorded is hourly rainfall, wind speed & direction and barometric pressure.
Further research work is required to ensure the integrity of the Chlorophyll a and turbidity data and this aspect will be attended to shortly.
Presentations have been made to SANParks, DWA&S and the TIHOA and all have generally accepted the project and its rollout to incorporate the entire Knysna estuary.
DWA&S are presently considering the allocation of a PhD student to complement their research initiative and under the supervision of Prof Brian Allanson.
The new Hydrolab HL4 mobile unit was recently put to the test to compare results received from both Stations 1 & 2; data compared correlated reasonably in terms of pH, salinity & dissolved oxygen.
The KEMP Project now awaits the formal approval of SANParks which is anticipated within the month and indemnity forms have in the interim been completed.
October 2014 - Knysna Estuary Monitoring Platform (KEMP): Knysna Basin Project is involved with several Thesen Island residents, all environmental enthusiasts, in Project KEMP which entails the deployment of state of the art probes or sondes. These will measure via sensors Conductivity/Temperature, PH, Turbidity, Optical Dissolved Oxygen, Chlorophyll and Blue-Green Algae. The devices will operate 24/7 and transmit information live via data loggers to various interested parties. The first of the probes, supplied by HACH South Africa are undergoing “Proof of Concept” tests at present having been commissioned 01 October and unveiled 07 October 2014 by Mr Derek Hanekom, Minister of Tourism during the National Blue Flag Awards ceremony in Thesen Harbour Town. It is envisaged that this will be the first of several probes to be installed, two in the Thesen Islands waterways and the others spread through the Knysna Estuary. The project has received a lot of interest, commitment and co-operation from SANParks, National Research Foundation, CSIR – Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, SAEON – South African Environmental Observation Network and many others including local and international Universities. The KEMP project will break new ground not only in South Africa but also worldwide in the important field of Estuarine management over the next few years.
KEMP is indeed fortunate and extremely grateful to the KTT as private sponsors of the initial phases of the project valued at several millions of Rand not to mention the dedicated team of enthusiasts.
The initial results obtained during the early stages of the three month “Proof of Concept” programme are exciting and meeting all expectations.
Photo's courtesy of Elle Photography