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Citizen Observatory of Water

WeSenseIt: Citizen Observatory of Water

The challenge of effectively managing our local environments and living safely in them is enhanced not only with a good appreciation of that environment but also engagement with and between relevant stakeholders. The environment is dynamic and developing but so are our technological abilities to both monitor and communicate about that environment. The WeSenseIt project aims to develop local 'citizen observatories' to strengthen water governance. By bringing together innovative low cost sensor systems, social networks via social media and mobile devices and relevant professional and public stakeholders it will test if such an observatory is viable and if it encourages engagement with the water environment and leads to more informed decision making.

This is a European project with river and surface water flooding and quality issues addressed in three case study locations: a UK case in partnership with Doncaster Metropolitan Council, a Netherlands case with UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and an Italian case with the Alto Adriatico Water Authority. The developed platforms will coordinate with the major European and global information sharing initiatives and be complementary to the actions conducted in the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security initiative, with tools made available within the Global Earth Observation System or Systems framework.

Working with a number of European technology SME's the sensor systems and delivery networks will be developed. In partnership with the Institute for Water Education, the Flood Hazard Research Centre are responsible for developing, understanding and maintaining stakeholder involvement, the 'human' sensors, and monitoring any changes in governance relationships during the four year project. We will also explore the application of Agent Based Modelling in representing the citizen observatory. 


European Commission Seventh Framework Programme


2012 - 2016

FHRC Project Manager:

Dr Simon McCarthy

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