IOT in water trough monitoring

Livestock farming is the primary source of income for some farmers around the world. They own lands that span acres and have cattle grazing all across it. Farmers propagate livestock for providing food commodities like meat, milk and eggs. Livestock can also be the sources for fibre and skins used for producing wool and other cloths as well as for manure which can be used as fertilizers and fuels. Harsh environmental conditions, pump failures, broken pipes and a lack of power supply can have calamitous effects on the quality of life of the livestock as they require a large amount of drinking water. It is the responsibility of cattle farmers to ensure that their cattle gets a healthy amount of drinking water to live and withstand environmental conditions and hence, water trough monitoring is critical

Farmers tend to install water troughs at several areas in their land to facilitate their livestock’s hydration. These tanks require farmers to operate water pumps at different times of the day and inspect individual tanks to check water levels. This process is inefficient and unsustainable for the farmers who lose a significant amount of time and effort in monitoring these tanks.

Our Client in Australia wanted to implement a remote water trough monitoring system for their cattle farm. He had water troughs of different shapes and sizes installed in his vast grazing lands for his cattle to drink from. He wanted a system that could facilitate remote monitoring of water levels in these troughs and send appropriate alerts upon the depletion of the water level beyond the required level. We developed a solution that allowed him to visualize the water levels through a mobile application and receive images of the water troughs continuously. 

Considering the vastness of the cattle farm, we chose to develop the system using LoRa, a wireless technology used for long range communications. We installed water level sensors that were programmed using Arduino to transmit the data about water levels to a gateway.  We built a custom gateway using Raspberry Pi and LoRa shield that was configured to send the data to a web server. A serial camera captured images and sent it to AWS Cloud from where it could be visualized on the mobile application.

Monitoring the water levels of these troughs helped them eliminate manual efforts, saved them time and allowed them to take the required measures from a remote location. Our water trough monitoring system made it possible for the farmers to make certain that their cattle had drinking water available at all times.
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