Improve the analysis of lake water quality (Como, Maggiore and Lugano lakes)

January 2019

- December 2022

Watch the video


Connectivity & Information

The initiative

An innovative project to improve the analysis of lake water quality, integrating data from sensors, satellite images and information provided by the public. SIMILE – System for the Integrated Monitoring of Insubric Lakes and their Ecosystems – is a project financed within the Interreg Italy-Switzerland Cooperation Programme 2014-2020. Its aim is to protect lakes, which are a fundamental resource for our territory constantly under attack from climate change and human interference on the environment. Through its advanced IT system, SIMILE intends to create a policy to manage the great lakes in the sub-Alpine region, together with a common strategy to improve the current monitoring system, in order to prevent and address particularly critical situations. Based upon citizen science – public participation in scientific research – the initiative will involve individuals, bodies, associations and other players interested in water management who together will help to formalise new guidelines to handle the future challenges facing the lake ecosystem.

The role of the Foundation

Fondazione Politecnico di Milano is partner in the initiative

Technical details

The quality of water and water ecosystems is fundamental to their recreational enjoyment and to tourism, as well as for farming and domestic uses. Geographically, these insubric lakes are on the Italian-Swiss border, which is an important aspect in their management. Water of a high quality inevitably depends on joint and coordinated action. SIMILE is grounded in the synergy among technical-scientific and institutional actors in the two countries. The project is run along participated lines (partners, individuals, associations and bodies) and involves formulating guidelines to tackle the future challenges lying ahead for the great insubric lakes.

First results

The first output from the project is a smartphone App, “SIMILE Lake Monitoring”, designed to collect information recorded by users on the status of lake waters.

App users can contribute actively to the monitoring of insubric lakes, and will receive information about events relating to the project that are taking place within the local region, as well as indications about behaviour that can best protect the lakes’ delicate ecosystem. People will be able to send in their observations (about algae, foam and litter) and measurements relating to a series of parameters (water transparency, temperature and pH value). These data will be integrated with information downloaded from satellite images and sensors installed on buoys, to gain a more comprehensive picture of the state of the lake.

Download the free “SMILE Lake Monitoring” App Android here

Download the free “SMILE Lake Monitoring” App IOS here

Click here to view the tutorial

Click here to explore the data collected through Citizen Science.


For proposals and information related to Citizen Science:interreg-simile@polimi.it

Financial supporters