Secchi3000 concept development

Track 03: Service and business design

Tags: water system monitoring, water quality, crowdsourcing, citizen observations, measurement devices, business development, business model, technology.

Sponsor: SYKE



Based on current experiences and the level of Secchi3000 technology development design a Secchi3000 operationalization company.

  1. Propose a viable service provision model and a business plan for the company which provides, develops, and maintains services with/for the Secchi3000 technology. The company operates alone or as a part of a network.
  2. Outline a viable revenue generation model for the company. The model should be operable in near future and it should take into consideration seasonal dependency for the operations (e.g. currently typical observation time is summer).
  3. Identify the main development targets and focus areas for technical and service developments in order to achieve financially profitable status for the company.
  4. Identify the key actors in the company’s network. Consider the activities it does not perform itself; for example, are designing and manufacturing the devices included in the core activities. Note: the network should include the necessary non-commercial organizations as well; including potential volunteer observer recruiting organizations, or the organizations motivating volunteers to keep on submitting observations in interesting areas.
  5. Suggest a name for the company and design a brand image for it. Consider visibility in the network of associated actors, and their roles and business structures.



The Secchi3000 concept is about crowdsourced water quality measurements done by simple and cheap devices and digital images. The concept is challenging from the business model point of view. Low revenue is expected from the cheap devices. Moreover, there could be potentially high investments for mass production which is required to ensure low prices for the devices.

However, as an alternative measurement data source for professionals it could be very competitive. It could provide adequate on-site measures and information for water bodies. Also, compared to expensive professional equipment it can provide better unit price for repeated measures and data points. Traveling to remote locations with the equipment is another consideration.

On one hand, there is a potential for interested and enthusiastic volunteers and other utilizers of the technology. On the other hand, the level of service promised to the paying customer should be considered based on the level of service needed from mainly volunteer activity. There are obviously challenges in turning the observations into a self-sustaining commercial activity.


Approaches and considerations

Re-sale of observation data is not a viable option. All data and results by public authorities, especially connected to natural surface waters, will eventually be published as open data.

From the public authorities point of view, the most interesting capabilities are 1) the capacity of gathering datasets, and 2) the possibility to set a target service level for acquiring an adequate amount of observations from the areas of interest. The number of individual data points is not that interesting.


Additional materials

Detailed description and background for Secchi3000


Results and market reviews of iQwtr implementation of Secchi3000 devices, associated documentation.


Test datasets of iQwtr measurements, including original images, interpreted results and software for basic manual analysis.