At the end of 2021, we surveyed over 200 environmental monitoring technicians, scientists, engineers, consultants and industry insiders on their views on the environmental monitoring industry
Their answers informed the first inaugural state of the industry report providing a snapshot of industry direction and understanding of the current landscape. Here are some of the most interesting findings.
Moving to remote environmental monitoring methods
End-users are in the process of moving to real-time with more than a quarter of end-users reporting an upcoming move in 2022 to real-time and three quarters expecting they will be monitoring predominantly remotely by 2025. Nearly half (41%) of respondents said this change was driven by organisational demand for real-time data in decision-making processes regarding assets.
Expanding program parameters
Monitoring programs will expand in 2022 as over thirty per cent (31.5%) of respondents reported an increase in parameters and analytes as their biggest upcoming change for the year.
Respondents reported data-automation and fully-automated monitoring systems as one of the biggest upcoming trends in demand by both end-user type organisations and environmental service providers.
Across a series of questions regarding changes in organisations, trends, upcoming challenges and adoption practices, survey respondents identified several major industry challenges:
Increasing stakeholder demand around data communication
Pressure from communities, regulators and internal stakeholders around real-time data communication and access is increasing, with over 1 in 4 of respondents reporting delivering on these demands as the biggest upcoming challenge in the industry. Stakeholders are increasingly demanding that monitoring programs communicate their measurement data live for use in decision-making processes. Service providers may find opportunities here in helping end-users bridge this communication gap through deploying real-time sensors and data communication platforms.
Talent shortages across the industry
Almost a third (30%) of end-users are already reporting a shortage of talent as their most pressing challenge. This applied across all measurement verticals: water quality, air quality, noise, hydrometric, meteorological, structural, geotechnical and METocean.
We believe this skills gap could be addressable by consulting engineers and scientists with technical sensor deployment skills to these end-users switching to real-time methods.
Respondents identified several hardware-related limitations inhibiting the broader uptake of remote monitoring, including capital and maintenance cost of sensors and telemetry units and lack of commercial availability of sensors for analytes of interest.
There is a clear need for lower cost, more robust sensor and hardware solutions, presenting a large market opportunity for new instrumentation startups to play a role in further adoption.
Accessing the report
Alongside the above findings, the report features a more in-depth breakdown of trends, challenges and opportunities within the industry. It also details program operations from respondents, including lists of reported parameters, instruments, preferred sensors for specific parameters and both software and hardware vendors.
Respondents also reported on the parameters they measure, instruments used, preferred sensors for parameters and the vendors of software and hardware in use within their operations. This data is also featured in the report.