The CianoMOD project ends, but research continues

Published On: September 20, 2021

It aimed to monitor water quality in real-time

Last June, the project entitled "CianoMOD: Development of a predictive model for the management of proliferation of algae and cyanobacteria associated with climate change based on remote sensing techniques and data acquisition systems" came to an end.

The project started in July 2019 to implement an autonomous system to monitor water quality in real-time. Through a network of wireless sensors and the analysis of satellite images, this system has collected valuable information (big data) on algae and cyanobacteria outcrops in two Spanish bodies of water: the As Conchas reservoir (Galicia) and L´Albufera lagoon (Valencia).

The evaluation of this information, paired with the analysis of historical data, illustrates the vulnerability of these environments to these outcrops. The project complements and continues the actions developed in the preceding CianoAlert project (MINECO, RTC- 2016-5087-2). CianoAlert laid the foundations for the implementation of a real-time monitoring system. However, the high price of the devices deployed in surface waters limited the scaling of the system and, therefore, its replication in larger and more complex bodies of water (such as L´Albufera in Valencia). CianoMOD has gone a step further managing to develop a robust methodology at an affordable cost, allowing the project to be replicated in further locations facing similar environmental problems.

Ángel Guillermo Pompa Pernía, researcher at IMDEA Water's microbiological contamination and cyanobacteria group, together with researchers Juan Antonio Pascual Aguilar and Jesús Morón López, associate researchers, participated not only in the development of the project but in various outreach activities. The close collaboration with research groups at the Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid made it possible to reach the project milestones. Moreover, two articles have been published in high-impact journals, two conference articles have been presented and two more articles including the most relevant results are also expected to be published. Likewise, these results have been disseminated in four national and international congresses, as well as in scientific outreach activities such as Science Week. Likewise, a website and a mobile App (available for Android and iOS) have been developed to provide free data. These tools will remain available to contribute to public awareness and participation on the impacts of climate change and the sustainable use of aquatic ecosystems. Finally, all the information collected during the project has been summarized in a manual that will allow the project to be replicated in other areas affected by algae and cyanobacteria outcrops.

CianoMOD project, supported by the Biodiversity Foundation of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, within the grant call 2018 from the Biodiversity Foundation, under a competitive concurrence regime, to develop projects in relation to climate change adaptation.

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