by Edouard Martins

20140401 134105-300x168The WaterLab project focuses on understanding the urban water system in the context of extensive urbanization and climate change . The goal of this project is to assess the variability of meteorological parameters within urban areas like Delft, Netherlands. It involves the scientific community and citizens and is sponsored by different Dutch organizations.

Estimating the variability of meteorological fields at the scale of a city area would requires a dense network of instruments and the availability of specialists for the efficiency of an early alert system. This is unfortunately not feasible for a matter of costs and personnel. However, the interaction between scientists and citizens, who would use cheaper non-specialized data collectors, could solve the problem. Moreover, it is a chance to prepare and motivate more people to be interested in the field of urban water system issues.

My contribution in the project consisted of deploying calibrated and tested instruments in schools in the city of Delft. With the help of 3 bachelor students of TU Delft, we used 8 weather stations provided by Davis company. They include a rain collector, a temperature and humidity sensor, an anemometer and solar/UV sensors.

We first tested all the instruments during 10 days at TU Delft to assess eventual biases in the data. The second stage of tests consisted in quantifying the perturbation in the retrieval of the measurements of urban high obstacles (walls, trees) close to the weather stations. The last stage took place in 4 different schools in Delft where we installed the stations and retrieved the measurements during a 2-week continuous period.

The project is currently on a break and will continue in September when the schools will open again and it will involve more actively the pupils/teachers/students.

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