Scientists in the UK have developed an instrument that can do a quick assessment of water quality. "The instrumentation is portable and computer controlled and can provide accurate information on the concentration of key chemical parameters, such as nitrate and ammonia," said Paul Worsfold, head of the research group at the University of Plymouth. The portability means that a complete catchment can be mapped relatively quickly without the need for collecting samples and transporting them back to a laboratory for analysis. When this information is combined with biological and geological data, a complete scientific picture of that catchment is instantly available. Then using satellite communication link, the information can be transmitted from remote locations to facilitate a rapid assessment of environment quality ( London Press Service , March 2, 1999).
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