To manage and restore the Spercheios river basin and its coastal zone, the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) needed a holistic view of Spercheios’ river basin and coastal zone.
Their obstacle was lack of access to timely and accurate data that is centrally stored and readily available. There was also a need to integrate these data to models and DSS.
Local authorities had to be better prepared for the threats of frequent flooding and poor water quality, to ultimately reduce financial losses and health risks for the local community.
Implementing our monitoring, forecasting and water quality management system meant that the client could now obtain, manage and use data more efficiently than ever before.
Timely data and accurate model results lead to informed decision-making
Forecasting and monitoring capabilities enable authorities to plan more justified mitigation measures
Optimised agricultural practices results in lower expenses for local farmers
An ecologically-sensitive area
Spercheios River and its deltaic system is located in Central Greece, close to the historic site of Thermopylae. Many ecologically-important areas protected under the NATURA 2000 network are located within the 1828 km2 Spercheios river basin. Anthropogenic interventions in the deltaic area, especially after the 1950s has influenced its natural habitats. The main interventions include:
Need for an overall understanding of aquatic conditions
Our client faced these challenges:
The project’s ultimate goal was to combine all individual, optimised environmental tools, models and indicators (biological, hydrological, water quality, socio-economic, and so on) in order to obtain a holistic view of the study area’s aquatic environment.
Automated and self-supervised DSS
Our solution involved the creation of an online monitoring, hydrological forecasting, flood forecasting and water quality management system.
The implemented DSS served as a development platform for data collection, processing, integration, quality assurance and monitoring. It is also used for updating of models, forecasting and web publishing/sharing.
It receives distributed rainfall and temperature data from the ‘Poseidon’ meteorological system as a primary model input as well as monitors data from stations installed in the wider basin/coastal areas to perform the following tasks in an automated, scheduled and self-supervised way:
HCMR also simulated the 3D hydrodynamics of Maliakos Gulf circulation and its water quality by combining outputs from the hydrological model with the Gulf’s boundary conditions.
Improved operational efficiency
The timely and accurate data that is now available, coming from monitoring stations and model predictions and forecasts, contributes to informed decision-making in both the river basin and the coastal Gulf area. With a powerful framework in hand, HCMR and the region of Central Greece are now able to study the changes that occur in the area with ease, leading to optimal management and restoration practices.
The forecasting and monitoring capabilities of our solution enable authorities to plan mitigation measures and find the best ways to deal with emerging problems.
Readily-available information results in optimised and more efficient agricultural practices which translate to cost-savings for the local farmers.
More understanding of climate change and land-use impacts
As part of this research effort, the effects of climate and land use changes were also studied. Scenarios were run to assess how changes in land use regimes, irrigation practices and climate would affect the river basin and coastal (Maliakos Gulf’s) water quality and quantity.
Publicly-accessible data platform
The sampling and monitoring data, flood forecasts and hydrological forecasts can be accessed by the public here and used by authorities. A walk-through guide (in Greek) for the project website may be viewed here.
The Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters (IMBRIW) is one of the three institutes of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) – a governmental research organisation operating under the supervision of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology. The project was funded by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology under the program ‘KRIPIS’ – NSRF 2007-2013.
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