FREEWAT is an EU HORIZON 2020 (Grant Agreement n. 642224) project aiming at promoting water resource management by simplifying the application of the Water Framework Directive and other EU water related Directives by means of innovative GIS integrated open source and public domain ICT simulation tools (the FREEWAT platform).
The FREEWAT platform will be integrated as plugin into the QGIS GIS desktop and will be based on groundwater and solute transport numerical models (from the MODFLOW USGS family). It will also include modules for solute transport in the unsaturated zone; water management and planning; Observations Analysis Tools (OAT); calibration, uncertainty and sensitivity analysis; management of water in agriculture; tools for groundwater quality issues; tools for the analysis, interpretation and visualization of hydrogeological data.
The FREEWAT platform will be applied to 10 case studies within the EU, 3 case studies in neighbouring countries (Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine) and to a large transboundary aquifer in Africa. The case studies will address different issues on WFD, GWD and other water related Directives and also rural water management topics.
Role of IGRAC
IGRAC participates in the activities of Capacity building (WP3), in the Case studies (WP5) and in the Dissemination (WP8). IGRAC’s contribution in WP3 will focus on the training content related to IMS (information management system). IGRAC also participates in one partners meeting to give an introduction to the background and current situation of the Stampriet aquifer based on previous experience on the GGRETA project and to introduce to the GGIS.
On WP5, IGRAC assists on the coordination of data collection amongst aquifer states based on the network and information collected in the GGRETA project and identifies information gaps that might affect the results from the case study. Hence, IGRAC will help in the data harmonization in order to use them during and after the training workshop. IGRAC will as well propose a conceptual model based on the information collected from the three aquifer states. IGRAC and UNESCO will be working in close cooperation in this process.
The FREEWAT project aims at improving Water Resource Management (WRM) by achieving the following specific objectives:
- To coordinate previous EU and national funded research to integrate existing software modules for WRM in a single environment;
- To provide EU Governing Bodies, Authorities and Water Utilities and environmental companies/water professionals with innovative, free and open source software tools having friendly usability;
- To build knowledge and capacity in the use of scientific software technologies, by improving the professional level of technical and managerial personnel involved in WRM issues in public institutions and private companies;
- To support the FREEWAT application in an innovative participatory approach gathering technical staff and relevant stakeholders in scenario creation and simulations to apply and develop appropriate water policies;
- Optimising the use of water resource monitoring data, by obtaining results for the solution of issues such as: water availability and quality, groundwater pollution monitoring and remediation, and coping with seawater intrusion;
- Building a web based community of users and developers of the free and open source FREEWAT platform;
- Contributing to the creation of innovative companies and work places that will exploit and continue the integration, development and training on the FREEWAT platform.