Integrated European
Long-Term Ecosystem, critical zone and
socio-ecological Research

In-situ sensors, satellite images and citizen science to improve lake quality and management

7 February 2023

The cross-border project SIMILE (Italian acronym for “System for the Integrated Monitoring of Insubric Lakes and their Ecosystems”) financed within the Interreg Italy-Switzerland Cooperation Programme 2014-2020, is coming to an end. SIMILE focused on three subalpine lakes, two of which, Maggiore and Como, belonging to the LTER Italy network.

The project’s general objectives were the improvement of lake monitoring and the strengthening of the coordinated management of water through an intensification of stakeholders’ participation. SIMILE aimed to test and develop an innovative monitoring approach, integrating satellite data, in-situ high frequency sensor data, and user-contributed georeferenced data through a citizen science approach. The main output of the project is a platform to visualize, combine and analyze the data provided by the different monitoring systems, as well as long-term series of water quality data.

The project benefited from the strict collaboration of both scientific and institutional partners, such as Politecnico di Milano, SUPSI, CNR IRSA, Fondazione Politecnico di Milano, Repubblica e Cantone Ticino, and from the involvement of several stakeholders, including local authorities, associations, environmental groups, and different grade school.

SIMILE scheme