Validation of the hydrographic model of the SMARTLAGOON project in a riverbed in the Campo de Cartagena
Currently, the accurate measurement of the variables necessary for hydrological modeling faces the challenge of costly models and sensors. This problem is aggravated in basins with high water stress where monitoring is more complex. Such is the case of Campo de Cartagena, characterized by ephemeral streams and average annual rainfall of less than 300 mm.
To address this situation, we implemented an innovative methodology that combines citizen science, through a mobile application that is able to obtain flow rates from recordings taken by citizens at specific control points; in addition to low-cost high-tech sensors capable of measuring the height of the water sheet, thanks to the synergies between our project and H2020 ReSET; and hydrological modeling performed with SWAT.
The results of this technological integration are remarkable: our model provides highly accurate simulated data, both short-term (every 5 minutes) and long-term (monthly), which have been calibrated thanks to citizen science and the implementation of low-cost high-tech sensors.
This approach has not only overcome economic constraints, but has also shown its effectiveness in watersheds where the scarcity of observed data was a constant challenge.
This graph shows the good fit between the observed results and those simulated by the SWAT model after parameter calibration.
From the modeling developed by the Smartlagoon project, the prediction of such accurate data on short time scales of a few minutes is of vital importance for different climatic zones due to the aggressiveness and sudden peaks of flow that can develop at specific times.
Notably, the results of this innovative approach were prominently presented through a scientific poster presentation at the AGU Annual Meeting 2023 in San Francisco (11-15 December). Our SMARTLAGOON H2020 project actively shared the findings of this pioneering research. The positive response and interest generated at this prestigious scientific event reinforces the relevance and impact of our integrated approach, highlighting its potential applicability in other regions affected by similar conditions. This recognition in an international forum underlines the importance of our contribution to finding solutions to current hydrological challenges.
The Scientific Officer, Javier Senent, during the AGU 2023 Annual Meeting held in San Francisco (December 11-15).