Enhancing the Resilience in the Caribbean to reduce vulnerability (ERC)
The Enhancing Resilience to Reduce Vulnerability project in the Caribbean follows an integrated approach towards vulnerability reduction and resilience enhancement related with climate change and natural hazards through an empowerment process of civil protection system at different level: regional (international), national and local.
Within this project, a regional Early Warning System was designed and installed through the tailored implementation of the DEWETRA platform.
The real-time monitoring network was improved in order to continuously provide up-to-date meteorological data over the area, especially during the hurricane season in the Caribbean Area.
After several attempts to improve the Caribbean network by purchasing proprietary weather stations, regional authorities (Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology – CIMH) and international organizations (UNDP) have now agreed on using the Open-source ACRONET paradigm to enhance the observations network.
This choice represents a total paradigm shift, where, instead of merely purchasing instruments, the end-user becomes developer and build their own tools. In other words, it was decided to invest in strengthening local capacities and not in buying commercial products.
In fact, all designs and implementation specifications of ACRONET Open-hardware are published and made available to the public. That enables anyone to copy,modify and redistribute the hardware and source code without paying royalties or fees. Technicians and end-users are encouraged to participate in the project evolution: Open-source hardware evolves through the community of users, which maintains and upgrades the project.
That resulted in a very fruitful cooperation with CIMH technicians, which actively participated in the design, implementation and installation of the Opensource automatic weather stations and led to the ACRONET configuration called “Caribbean”.
The ACRONET “MONITORAGGIO COMUNE” project is included in the wider “PROTERINA2” Programme co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund “FESR Maritime IT-FR”. According with it, a new portal named “PROTEZIONE COMUNE” has been developed. Here interesting information are shared in order to mitigate the hydrogeological risk amongst public bodies and exposed subjects on the territory (citizens as well as communities).
Amongst the goals of the Programme, the strenghtening of the monitoring networks for the interestin regions is coupled with the definition of the emergency-phase behaviours and with the knowledge of the risks by the citizens.
Hence, working side-by-side with the Municipality of Quiliano (SV, Italy), a specific research and experimentation activity has started regarding appropriate Open Hardware Measuring Systems. They have to be dedicated to specific aims of monitoring and activation of the Emergency Plan regarding the overcoming of hydrological and rainfall thresholds for a small Municipality.
The project requirements include the sustainability and the possibility to duplicate the initiative at any Municipality, even with the help from its own personnel or volunteers.
These considerations led to the development of two rainfall-based and WMO-compliant configurations, “Tagliate” and “Faia”, and to the hydrometric configuration “Parodi”. These configuration can be easily proposed at any other Municipality site always with very high standards of quality and reliability as well as a low final cost of the measurements.
Regarding the rainfall stations, 3 thresholds (for 3 periods) have been defined for the activation: then, if they are overcome by the precipitations, the ACRONETWORK infrastructure sends a SMS in real time to each component of the “COC” in any operational status.
The “OpenRESMIA” project is directed by ARPAV and regards shared design, construction and installation of two new ACRONET field configurations. Those are designed, respectively, to measure “water levels” and “concentration of pollutants in air.”
The activities are framed within the RE.SMIA “Networks and Innovative Monitoring Stations for the Environment” project, promoted and realized by the partnership “ARPAV and Veneto Nanotech”, funded by the Veneto Region of Veneto in the POR FESR 2007-2013.
The “OpenRESMIA” project aims at developing a new generation of “Measuring Systems” which have to be remote, professional, able to strengthen and integrate the environmental monitoring networks available to ARPAV. They are also expected to use new technologies that are based on OpenHardware and OpenSoftware standards.
With the stated aim of their direct use, both in ordinary activities, both in an emergency and catastrophic events, some of the design requirements must be highlighted:
the small size of the apparatus;
their easy portability and placement in the field;
guaranteed reliability even under extreme conditions;
the availability of data over the Internet;
the low cost.
The measuring instruments made in the context of “OpenRESMIA” will use the standard R-MAP (Participatory Environmental Monitoring Network) for both metadating and transmission of data. The standard was defined in the context of the activities of the open group named “RaspiBO“, in collaboration with ARPA Emilia Romagna, ARPA Veneto, and with the Department of Computer Science of the University of Bologna.
Under the project, actually three configurations are proposed and realized. They are installed in specific sites of measurements:
“Configuring Tergola”: measurement of water level in a stream of small dimensions;
“Configuring Lancieri”: measurement of the concentration of air pollutants;
“Configuring Vigenzone”: measurement of water level in a stream of small dimensions.
The main goal of MESP project regards the sustainability of port activities with particular reference to high levels of life quality in the nearby areas. Water, noise and air are taken into consideration as main matrixes for which pollution is evaluated in relation with port activities.
The Port Authority of La Spezia is the Project Coordinator for what concerns Air.
In this context, the dispersion of powders (dust or fine particles), fumes and gases is one of the main problem affecting port areas. According with this consideration, mitigation actions are taken into account and a continuous monitoring of the conditions is an added value. Hence, some pilot activities are foreseen for the project: one of these regards the installation of an experimental measuring station. PM10 and Ozone are the interesting parameters.
Evaluate the content of water in different soil matrixes.
The project was financed by Regione Liguria (IT) in the context of POR FESR calls. The aim of the project is building a complete prototype system (hardware and software dedicated instrumentation) for the observation of moisture dynamics in plants and soil in areas with heterogeneous vegetation cover, complex terrain and high meteorological variability. Data was used in mathematical models aimed at evaluate the risk from wildifires with a particular interest to wooded areas close to civil settlements. Furthermore, the project has opened an early stage in the screening of new methods aimed at evaluating the moisture of the deadwood.
The project is implemented following a direct commission of the “Studio Progetto Ambiente Srl” (http://www.progambiente.it) company of Turin. They coordinated the activities, and dictated the specifications of two new configurations:
ROSSELLI (Full Weather Station)
speed and wind direction;
DUSTYARD (Measurement of the concentration of dust in yards)
fine particulate in the PM10 fraction.
In its first application, the project “smartYARD” refers mainly to the environmental monitoring of the yard regarding the development of the railway line Turin-Ceres in the urban context of the city of Turin.
ante-operam: the aim is to obtain the best characterization of the site (blank) before the yard. Thus, the best calibration curve to be applied to data from the PM10 sensor will be defined;
real-time: as introduced, the main goal of the project is to continuously monitor the yard and to make actions following data (i.e.: overcoming fixed thresholds);
post-operam: to put in evidence the presence/absence of long-term effects determined by the yard, the interesting variables will be monitored even after the end of the operations.
 the “smart city” concept is borrowed: according with it the yard is made “smarter” through the real-time monitoring of some environmental parameters of interest. Furthemore, also the sharing of data is an added value.
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