The largest citizen study on groundwater ever!

Posted on monday 25 january 2021

In the summer, we like to enjoy our garden. But does your garden still enjoy summer? In Flanders, 5000 citizens are measuring the heat and drought in their garden for a study.

In 2018, the organization "CurieuzeNeuzen" organized the largest citizen study on air quality ever conducted. On 20,000 house facades in Flanders, a plaque measuring the concentration of nitrogen dioxide in the street was hung. Together, these measurements provided a very detailed picture of air quality in Flanders.

In 2021, the project will focus on an equally relevant topic. Because it hasn't escaped your attention: record-breaking heat and drought are rapidly following one another and this is becoming more and more visible in your garden. Your garden is in pain, the trees need water. How can we better arm our gardens, parks, fields and nature reserves against drought, and what will keep your garden cool during a hot period?

This is what "CurieuzeNeuzen", the largest citizen study on heat and drought ever carried out in Flanders, is investigating. Using innovative technology, we will map heat and drought at 5,000 measurement points over a period of six months.

At each of these measuring points, an intelligent sensor measures the temperature and humidity of the soil. This sensor transmits data daily to the University of Antwerp via the Internet-Of-Things. The participants in the study also take a soil sample, which is analysed for composition and organic carbon.  Through a personal dashboard, they have access to the data from their garden. This allows them to follow the impact of drought and heat in their garden live. 

What does iFLUX do?

By 2030, half of the world's population will be affected by drought. 40% of our drinking water comes from groundwater. Sustainable groundwater management is therefore invaluable to us all.

iFLUX wants to play an important role in this area. As a Belgian start-up, we contribute to groundwater protection by monitoring quantity, quality and movement in time and space. 

The knowledge and data analysis acquired in the "CurieuzeNeuzen" project will be used to improve and extend the iFLUX services on real-time groundwater measurements.

"CurieuzeNeuzen" is an initiative of the University of Antwerp and De Standaard, in close collaboration with Rabobank, Orange, Vito, VMM, the Environment Department, Bio-Planet, DPD, Aquafin and iFLUX.