Living Up to the Hype: AquaHive Helping to Combat Environmental Impacts in Mountain Watersheds
The team at AquaHive believe one of the primary industry applications for their product could be the mining sector – Gabriel Castillo is proving them right.
Castillo is a PhD researcher in mining engineering at the University of British Columbia, looking at environmental impacts, climate risk management and adaptation strategies in the mine lifecycle, specifically in mountain watersheds. He also spent years working in the mining industry himself and has unique insight into the benefits AquaHive can provide.
“For the mining sector, a great deal of time is spent on risk management and risks to the environment and existing watersheds are at the top of the list,” said Castillo. “My research looks to address these concerns, specifically related to the environmental impact of mine closure, and AquaHive is playing a huge part in the data collection process.”
South America – specifically Chile and Peru in this instance – represents the perfect geographic and political environment for both the AquaHive product and Castillo’s research, as the continent is highlighted by both a high level of mining opportunities and strong government regulations protecting the natural environment. Plus, the remote locations of the mines themselves is just the type of test situation AquaHive was built for.
“For watersheds, data collection can be extremely challenging when it comes to remote areas,” said Castillo. “Traveling to the site, taking physical water samples, shipping those to a lab and obtaining the results can take weeks, whereas AquaHive can give us real time data. It’s a huge advantage for my research and for the industry itself because we can make informed decisions in real time, reducing risk and cost.”
AquaHive is a smart remote water monitoring system that combines a myriad of functions and provides real-time data analysis from even the most hard to reach sites. The system is compatible with the world’s highest quality environmental sensors for monitoring water parameters such as water level, temperature, conductivity, optical RDO, pH/ORP, pressure, ammonium, chloride nitrate and salinity. Plus, it gives the user immediate access to the information from their office or mobile device.
Through Castillo’s research, and the data collected through the AquaHive system, we can gain valuable insight into the potential environmental risks associated with mine lifecycles and even support the design of the mine reclamation process as companies plan to return the land back to a useful state, something Castillo says is greatly needed.
“AquaHive is so much more than a way to collect data, it’s a system that has the ability to accurately support and inform sustainable processes,” said Castillo. “Mining companies typically work in an area for ten to twenty year and then they leave – but the environmental impacts of those mines can last generations. That’s what makes AquaHive so important – because it can help the mining industry and the environment to coexist.”
But not only can AquaHive help mining companies avoid negative effects on the environments in which they work, Castillo also believes the system will improve their bottom line.
“With stricter government regulations in many countries, mining companies can face massive monetary fines if their operations contaminate the natural resources around them,” said Castillo. “So investing in top-of-the line water monitoring technology like AquaHive doesn’t just make sense from an environmental standpoint, it makes good business sense as well.