Wireless sensor networks are promising technologies for the next generation of water quality monitoring (WQM) systems as a result of their appealing promises such as on-site measurements since some water quality (WQ) parameters are best measured at the water sites, low-cost, timely monitoring of WQ parameters, reliable delivery of WQ data to various WQM centres in remote locations, fast response rate, and early detection of water contaminations. For the promises of wireless sensor network to become a reality in WQM applications, various challenges that confront the performance of wireless sensor networks, such as energy problems including energy scarcity and consumption problems, and other resource constraints, are needed to be addressed. As a consequence, it becomes imperative to seek and develop viable solution models that can fairly and efficiently harness the limited resources of wireless sensor networks among the network WQ sensors. This is essential for realizing the best for wireless sensor network in WQM.
To develop appropriate and viable solution models for wireless sensor networks, several issues which are barriers to achieving optimal solutions for the wireless sensor networks in WQM were identified and as well addressed in this thesis. Without this research efforts, the promises of wireless sensor network in WQM may not be realized. Thus, through a thorough study and analysis of relevant and useful works in the literature, crucial limiting factors to efficient resource utilization in wireless sensor network were identified and as well studied. This consequently led to studying and providing suitable solution models for addressing the limiting factors.
As a result of the inherent challenges, wireless sensor networks for WQM lacks what it takes to guarantee their sustainability and reliability in efficiently delivering WQ data to the designated remote water monitoring centres. Because of this limitations, the anticipated next generation wireless sensor networks for WQM are desired to possess greater capabilities to efficiently support sustainable network operations and reliable delivery of WQ data with optimal resource utilization. For this purposes to be achieved, it is essential for WQM sensor network systems to integrate pragmatic strategies for the provision of sufficient energy resources, judicious allocation and efficient use of energy resources. This research direction is targeted at bringing intelligent functionalities to the sensor network systems that are dedicated to the monitoring of WQ. These requirements have orchestrated a thorough technical study on how advanced methodologies such as radio frequency (RF) energy and optimization methods could be coupled with the WSN solutions for WQM applications to facilitate the realization of viable solutions with greater performance. As a consequence of the thorough technical study, this research has therefore proposed and implemented RF energy harvesting method and optimization strategies to tackle energy scarcity problem and efficient energy resource utilization issue. It is worth clarifying that energy resource provision and efficient energy resource utilization are crucial pivots upon which the productivity of wireless sensor network in WQM revolves. Consequently, this thesis has addressed the energy problems and provided viable solutions to the problems that challenge the fruitfulness of wireless sensor networks in WQM applications. The solutions offered by this thesis are not only viable, but are essential contributions designed to assist wireless sensor network to fulfil its asserted promises.