Lagoons represent 5 % of the shoreline in Europe. Separated from the ocean by a barrier, coastal lagoons are shallow waterbodies connected at least intermittently to the ocean by one or more restricted inlets. They are also vulnerable to climatic and anthropogenic pressures, such as intensive agriculture and extensive urbanisation, namely because of expanding tourism. The EU-funded SMARTLAGOON (H2020-EU.1.2.2. - FET Proactive) project will develop a tool to enable real-time monitoring, analysis and effective management of these vulnerable areas. It will focus on Europe’s largest saltwater coastal lagoon, Mar Menor. Located in the Iberian Peninsula, in the south-east of the Autonomous Community of Murcia, Spain, near Cartagena, the area has been suffering environmental degradation due to socio-environmental reasons.
The SMARTLAGOON project intends to develop a digital twin to build a systemic understanding of the socio-environmental inter-relationships affecting costal lagoons and their ecosystem. It will digitally replicate the policy-making procedure of these complex socio-environmental systems by combining, analyzing and interpreting data from different sources; including efficient in-situ IoT infrastructures with edge computing capabilities, remote sensing technologies, social media sensing, open-data repositories and data from human behavior, economics and the social sciences, by making recourse to advanced AI, NLP, physically-based and citizen science models. As a case study, SMARTLAGOON focuses on the Europe’s largest salt water coastal lagoon, i.e. Mar Menor (Murcia, Spain), which has suffered serious environmental degradation due to several socio/environmental reasons.
In such a context, citizens science is a core aspect of our project. The idea is to engage citizens to: i) collect qualitative data engaging them in workshops, data such as their point of view, concerns, needs, wishes; ii) collect quantitative data about the water level and watercolour, using a mobile app. The final aim is to increase the researchers' knowledge about the social-economical issues of Mar Menor, through people's testimonies, and, at the same time, raise people awareness about the actual environmental problems of the lagoon.
How to participate
Download the DischargeApp.
The DischargeApp uses a completely new approach to measure flows. The technology used is non-intrusive, as it relies on the structures present at the surface of the water bodies and not on tracers. Therefore, this innovative technology was coined as “Surface Structure Image Velocimetry” or SSIV. A patented algorithm provides the velocity profile at the surface of the water body