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EcoSUSTAIN bova

A sensor-equipped buoy to measure water quality has been installed on Visovac Lake as part of the implementation of activities in the EcoSUSTAIN project, to which the Public Institute of Krka National Park is a partner.

The main objective of the project EcoSUSTAIN (Ecological sustainable Governance of Mediterranean protected Areas via improved Scientific, Technical and Managerial Knowledge Base) is to conserve aquatic ecosystems in selected locations, and to ensure their better management. Within Krka National Park, the Visovac Lake locality was selected as a very vulnerable and referential ecosystem.

The energy self-sustaining buoy is equipped with sensors to measure the physicochemical parameters of water and with accompanying systems for automatic relaying of the measured values in real time to the software system of the Public Institute of Krka National Park. The buoy has integrated solar panels to charge the batteries, enabling autonomous functioning year-round. Selected sensors conduct real-time monitoring of the parameters used to determine water quality: temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, chlorophyll a, conductivity and pH values. All data are received in real-time, enabling timely reactions to any changes, actual or potential, that could degrade water quality. Meanwhile, in monitoring the work of the buoy, it will be possible to send other users feedback on their use, possible improvements and additional functionalities of the monitoring system. Furthermore, this will be the first time that data will be able to be exchanged with other protected areas in the Mediterranean, where we can together monitor changes and create a high-quality database, which is one of the overall goals of the EcoSUSTAIN project.

The project is financed from the EU programme Interreg Mediterranean 2014 – 2010. In addition to Krka National park, other partners are from Italy, Greece, Spain, and also Bosnia and Herzegovina (Una National Park). The project commenced on 1 November 2016 and is envisaged to run for 30 months.

From 7 to 11 May 2018, the Public Institute of Krka National Park was host of the 4th meeting of project partners and the joint technical seminar for all interested stakeholders, which will be held on 8 May at the Juraj Šižgorić Library in Šibenik. The main topics of knowledge exchange and networking within the EcoSUSTAIN project will be the ecologically sustainable management of protected areas in the Mediterranean, joint international activities for national parks and protected areas and their natural ecosystems and biodiversity, and implementation of innovative solutions for monitoring water quality in protected areas using ICT technologies.

By participating in this project and implementing new technologies, the Public Institute of Krka National Park is aiming to achieve better quality water quality monitoring. By installing the buoy in Visovac Lake, and through long-term monitoring of the main ecological factors that impact development and the survival of communities in the lake, this will enable better management and timely reactions to any observed changes, as preserving water quality and adequate flow is a priority task in the ecological protection of this area.