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3D Printing of coastal protection Reefs

The Albanian coastline has been declining in recent years due to coastal erosion and uncontrolled...

FREEWAT

FREEWAT platform helps in increasing resilience to water related hazards, in particular drought, by enhancing groundwater management and supporting analysis at contaminated sites. It helps increasing resilience of territories to drought and water scarcity and planning innovative blue infrastructures for water-related agroecosystem services. We aim at increasing capacities at public administration level and private companies, by performing alphabetization in digital tools for water management.

Developed by Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (in collaboration with other institutions)

The FREEWAT platform is a free and open source QGIS integrated platform for groundwater management. It integrates tools for time series processing and water quality data management, as well as a number of well documented and tested simulation codes, mostly from USGS MODFLOW family. FREEWAT is the result of the H2020 FREEWAT project ending sept 30th 2017 (www.freewat.eu) During the project, aside from the sw platform, more than ten well-documented tutorials, datasets and manuals were produced.

TRL8. System incorporated in comercial design
System complete and qualified. Technology has been proven to work in its final form and under expected conditions. In almost all cases, this TRL represents the end of true system development. Examples include developmental test and evaluation (DT&E) of the system in its intended weapon system to determine if it meets design specifications. We believe FREEWAT is at TRL 8 for the following reasons: i) it is the result of almost ten years of research on the integration of water management tools in GIS environment; ii) it has been successfully tested on a total of 14 case studies within the FREEWAT project (plus two outside the project); iii) it has been positively evaluated by companies and authorities during training activities (in which more than 1000 individuals were trained) as enhanced experience for water management compared to “similar” ICT tools.

See more information about this level and the TRL and SRL levels.

The main components of the system have been tested separately, and an initial integration exercise has been conducted.

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Collaborators

How does it work?

FREEWAT aims at serving as pre- and post-processor for processing of hydrological time-series to maximize sensor gathered information (baseflow extraction, resampling, etc.), water quality data, solving groundwater flow, contaminant transport in saturated and unsaturated condition, calibration of numerical models, optimization of water supply systems, management of water for agricultural purposes. FREEWAT helps in building shared awareness on the value of water. It may be used by public authorities for the implementation of river basin management plans using the participatory approach (as done in 14 case studies in the project) – or by companies for providing readily usable models on contaminated sites to agencies, instead of only reports.

Limitations/conditions under which this innovation does not work or is less effective

FREEWAT has been tested successfully on up to 16 different case studies so far, in different regions of Europe and in Africa. Its application to a large number of case studies will greatly improve demonstration of its reliability for drought management in different conditions. To this, its application to long-term temporal scale is needed (such as several years or decades). Even if no theoretical barrier exists for its application on these situations, an optimization of the code to cope with these stressed conditions should be developed and assessed.

Added value
FREEWAT has a series of advantages compared to existing ICT tools for water management. Below the list of key advantages leading to its unique position: – Free and open source: FREEWAT is free so that no license fees are needed and it is open source, anyone can have access to the code and evaluate its reliability; – Portability: work created in FREEWAT (i.e. models and GIS projects) can be shared with any party interested (client, public authorities, colleagues). All data used and projects saved can be shared with any interested stakeholder, thus increasing the reliability of complex analysis. – Integration: input and output data or hydrological/hydrogeological analysis/models are inherently geo-localized. Being integrated in a powerful GIS software allows maximizing the time to perform analysis and in the meantime to produce high quality and accurate simulations of groundwater management issues.

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