The Baltic Sea Action Group works to bring together all parties of society to rescue the vulnerable marine ecosystem of the Baltic Sea. Vaisala has joined the effort and will deliver a hydrological forecasting system for the Pärnu River basin in Estonia.
The project is being carried out in cooperation with the Estonian Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (EMHI) and the Tallinn Technical University (TTU).
When completed, the data provided by the system will be used for monitoring water levels and quality in the Pärnu River. The Pärnu River drains into one of the large bays of the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Riga. Therefore, the water quality of the river directly influences the Baltic Sea water quality, which in turn emphasizes the importance of monitoring the river water.
"The new system is especially beneficial in terms of providing us with more specific information on the water level and flow in the Pärnu River. Real-time hydrological forecasting helps us predict possible flooding situations and generally makes us better equipped to manage the whole water system in Estonia," says Juta Kuik, head of EMHI's hydrological department.
"The Pärnu River is also a very popular tourist and recreation area, and these activities benefit from timely water level forecasts as well. We already have plans to extend the system to other areas," explains Kuik.
A versatile and open system Development of the new forecasting system began in 2009. When completed, the fully automated system will use real-time observation data to forecast river
discharge and water level at 29 points in the Pärnu River basin. Rainfall information produced by weather radar located in Surgavere is an important source of observation data. All observations used by the forecasting system are generated by Vaisala equipment and software.
Vaisala's hydrological forecasting is based on public domain and open source technology, making it possible to duplicate the system at very low costs for other river basins draining into the Baltic Sea. A prototype system is already up and running and the public web interface will follow early next year.
Taking responsibility for the environment is one of Vaisala's fundamental principles. Along with the commitment that the company is making with the hydrological forecasting system, Vaisala takes part in restraining climate change in other ways. The company has developed a reference radio sonde that will be used for measuring factors in the upper atmosphere that influence climate change.
Panu Partanen, Market Segment Manager
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Vaisala is a global leader in environmental and industrial measurement. Building on more than 70 years of experience, Vaisala contributes to a better quality of life by providing a comprehensive range of innovative observation and measurement products and services for meteorology, weather critical operations and controlled environments. Headquartered in Finland, Vaisala employs over 1400 professionals worldwide and is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.