ALERT aims to develop a radically different strategy for monitoring and managing the impact of climatic change and land-use practice on scarce water resources. Innovative ALERT technology will be designed that will allow the near real-time measurement of geoelectric, hydrology and hydro chemical properties, virtually "on demand”, thereby giving early warning of potential threats to ecosystems, and vulnerable water systems. The project will focus primarily on coastal zones where aquifers are under threat from over-exploitation, rising sea levels, anthropogenic pollutants and seawater intrusion. New and proven sensors and data capture devices will be permanently deployed in-site, within a unified platform (ALERT hydro-station) at a test site in Algeria, Spain. The site will be interrogated from the office by novel modem/telemetric and satellite links to provide volumetric images of the subsurface at regular intervals; thereby obviating the need for expensive repeat surveys and manual intervention. New 3D/4D time-lapse image reconstruction algorithms will be developed for distributed buried and borehole arrays. The volumetric electrical images (in space and time) will be transformed into hydrology properties and processes through the further development of mathematical relationships, derived from controlled laboratory studies. These datasets will bemused to constrain a predictive hydrogelogical modelling capability. Innovative statistical techniques will be developed to assist up scaling from the site model to catchments scale. A web-based GIS will be designed with new data fusion, risk analysis and decision support tools to facilitate the sustainable management of water resources in coastal zones. Scenario modelling based on stochastic and Bayesian networks will address the wider societal implications of the proposed work, including the economic, cultural and political issues, in the context of current and planned EU directives.
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