LIST WATER LECTURES Seminar Series 2018 #7


As part of the LIST Water Lectures series organised for the spring/ summer session 2018, the next event will take place on 3 July 2018 at LIST premises in Belvaux (LU).

Prof. Jan Seibert from the University of Zürich (CH) will be the invited speaker and will make an oral presentation on « Value of citizen observations in hydrology - can people observe what models need? ».


The CrowdWater project explores opportunities for citizen science approaches in hydrology. Here, we present first results on two aspects of the project, namely the smartphone app used for data collection and the potential value of crowd-based stream flow and level observations for model calibration. The challenge with crowd-based stream level data is that observations are taken at irregular time intervals and with a limited accuracy. We evaluated the value of highly uncertain stream flow estimates taken at irregular intervals. The results indicate that the use of stream level observations might be a more promising approach. We recently launched a smartphone app, which supports stream level observations. However, these stream level observations are only be possible at a limited vertical resolution. To evaluate the value of such data, we pretended for gauged catchments that only stream level observations at a limited vertical resolution were available by transferring the data into stream level classes. The hydrological model was calibrated with these hypothetical data sets and subsequently evaluated on the observed streamflow record. Our results indicate that stream level data can result in good streamflow simulations, even with a reduced vertical and temporal resolution of the level observations. Time series of only two stream level classes, e.g. above or below a rock in the stream, were already informative, especially when the class boundary was chosen towards the highest levels.

These results are encouraging for citizen science projects and provide a basis for designing observation systems that collect data that are as informative as possible for deriving model-based discharge time series for previously ungauged basins

About LIST Water Lectures Seminar series

Visit the main LIST WATER LECTURES SERIES page / Spring-Summer 2018 edition >

The LIST Water Lectures series were launched in January 2017 and covers various aspects of water resources research towards a sustainable river basin management. The series aggregate a group of outstanding experts and scientists in water resources research and related fields. They are funded by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) and organised by the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) in the framework of the Doctoral Training unit in hydrological sciences’ activities.

> For any question on this event, contact Julian Klaus via email.

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