Photo of Melissa  Rodríguez

Biotechnology & medicine

Melissa Rodríguez

Wireless monitoring of water pollutants through a biosensor network

Year Honored

Latin America

Hails From

"Environmental pollution, particularly water pollution and its relationship with public health, is one of the key issues in sustainable development policies in Mexico and the world. The high population density in Mexico and the expected population growth over the next few years, the overexploitation of drinking water services, and high pollution levels put the accessibility of the water, its use, treatment and conservation at the core of of sustainable development policies in Mexico.

In some areas of Mexico, the accessibility to this resource is limited and in many cases the situation is worsened by the lack of sufficient, long-term monitoring programs. Millions of Mexicans find themselves without sufficient access to clean water every day.

Through a wireless monitoring system, Melissa, a PhD student in Engineering specializing in Environmental Systems, proposes an innovative option for improving the efficiency of monitoring and real time quality for the water in Mexico.

Her solution consists of smart sensors, connected wirelessly, which measure the characteristics of a water supply, compare the data to previously defined parameters to assess the water´s “safety” level and send this data in real-time to the competent authorities for their reference and to aid in decision-making processes.

More efficient use and management of water sources improves decision-making abilities in critical situations and reduces the time and cost associated with the monitoring of water sources. This system helps to reduce the biodiversity loss associated with pollution problems, and improve the health of those affected by the shortage of drinking water and consumption of contaminated water."