Project highlights & Archive

Project highlights & Archive


4ONSE: analysis of Four times Open Non-conventional system for Sens-ing the Environment, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Pakistan

Shorter reaction time to prepare adequate measures in case of meteorological hazards depends on complete meteorological data.

The project empowers developing countries to set up and maintain a climate monitoring network proposing a fully open solution.

For further information: & This project is jointly funded by SNSF and SDC within the R4D ( programme.

Partners: P. K. Seneviratne Mahanama, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka; Oka Karyanto, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia; Imran Shahid, Institute of Space Technology, Pakistan.

Groundwater vulnerability assessment in La Habana city area, Cuba

The assessment of groundwater vulnerability is crucial for sustainable management of water resources.

Aquifers in general and karst aquifers specially, could be extremely vulnerable to pollution.

Once polluted quality restoration is difficult, often impossible, and may have negative social and/or economic consequences.

As water from karst aquifers are an important sources of drinking water in Cuba (80% of groundwater comes from karst aquifers) the assessment of their vulnerability to pollution is a necessary step for quality protection. In this project groundwater vulnerability maps were developed for aquifers providing drinking water to La Habana city and nearby areas.

Partners: Institute of Earth Sciences, Politecnico Jose Antonio Echeverria.

Saint Lucia drought mapping, Saint Lucia

Drought is an extended period of time in which a deficiency in water supply occurs.

Even thought the triggering condition is the lack of precipitation, the impacts may be aggravated by a non-sustainable usage of water resources.

Drought has a substantial impact on the ecosystem, the population and its economic activities, such as agriculture and tourism.

The objectives of the project were the preparation of drought-relevant base documentation, the development of operative tools and drought information material for Saint Lucia, as well as the conduction of training activities to mitigate effects on population.

Partners: Institute of Earth Sciences, Government of Saint Lucia.

Caribbean water monitor, Saint Lucia

The project addressed the changes in the availability of water resources in the Caribbean today, and the impact of climate change.

An internet-based monitoring tool – the Caribbean Water Monitor - was developed which indicates the current situation regarding the availability of water on two island states of the Caribbean.

Based on the input of climate data – mainly precipitation and temperature – the tool assesses automatically the current situation and displays it in a comprehensive form, such as maps or trend graphs.

This Caribbean Water Monitor is an essential tool in water resources management, and offers a help for decision support for planning and managing water resources.

Climate change will require adaptation strategies. These strategies will have to be guided by assessment and monitoring tools, such as the proposed Caribbean Water Monitor.

Partners: Institute of Earth Sciences, Government of Saint Lucia.

Combat water shortage by supporting land use improvement in forest areas, Indonesia

A worldwide increasing demand of drinking water and unreliable water quality are main issues that urge sustainable groundwater use and therefore require a coherent groundwater policy, especially in highly populated areas.

In this project, spatial changes in groundwater geochemistry are used as index to understand how land management practices in Indonesia influence its quality.

On the basis of obtained results guidelines will be developed with local policy makers to improve both: water quality and land use management.

Partners: Institute of Earth Sciences, University Gadjah Mada.

Well cleaning during emergency response after flood in Pakistan (2010)

During a SDC humanitarian intervention in the regions of Charsadda and Nowshera, heavily affected by the floods in the summer 2010, a well cleaning project was initiated with the aim of improving the access to clean drinking water of the flood affected population by rehabilitating water sources and by minimizing the risk of contamination.

Besides, it also aimed at investigating the “reliability of WHO standard protocol for well cleaning in terms of water quality before and after the operation”.

More than 2000 wells were cleaned corresponding to approximately 43,000 beneficiaries.

The water quality measures showed that 80% of the wells were bacteriologically contaminated soon after the flood.

After well cleaning, the rate of contamination amounted to 20%. The WHO standard protocol for well cleaning seems therefore to work well.

This projects represent the only test on the field of this protocol on such a large scale and during a real disaster.

Partners: Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit), University of Applied Science and Arts of Southern Switzerland and Integrated Regional Support Program, a Pakistani NGO.

Hydrogeological investigation of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System in Northern Chad – a baseline study for a sustainable management (2012)

In the area of North-Eastern Chad there are several lakes and areas of shallow groundwater with palm tree plantations and a high biodiversity. A severe water table decline could generate environmental and agricultural problems as already observed in the Kufra oasis, threatening food security. To develop a controlled and regulated exploitation, a conceptual model of the dynamics of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS) must be developed. Additionally, without a state of the art situation regarding existing and functionality of water points, it is difficult for the Chadian Water Authority to identify the requirements in terms of water supply for the population living in Northern Chad.
Integrating high-precision altimetric water points data, hydraulic gradients definition and physico-chemical and isotopic signatures from approximately 50 water points spread in the Nubian Aquifer System of Northern Chad enable the design a simple semi-quantitative conceptual model on the character of the fossil underground water and gave significant insights on the development of the system in terms of exploitation.
Partners: Institute of Earth Sciences, Université de N’Djamena, Université de Neuchâtel, United Nations Institute for Training and Research, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation