16 Jun 2015

Developing a marine forecasting service for San Sebastián

DHI Spain created a user friendly online system that provides real-time information on and predictions of marine conditions for the Bay of Biscay.

San Sebastián, a city of 200,000 inhabitants in the Basque area of the Bay of Biscay in northern Spain, will be the European Cultural Capital in 2016. With its three urban beaches and a strong tourism industry, the city wanted to further support its water sports sector, with a special focus on surfing and sailing activities. To do this, local authorities wanted to embrace the Smart City concept, which uses digital technology to improve the quality of public services, lower resource usage, and lessen environmental impact.

Previously, San Sebastián did not have an online system that provided information on the sea conditions of its three beaches. Although information on high and low tide times as well as sea temperature were available daily in the local newspapers, there was no real-time information available that could be checked online.

To address this, DHI Spain developed a marine forecasting service for the coastal areas between San Sebastián and Pasaia on the northern coast of Spain. The system uses our three-dimensional model MIKE 3 Flexible Mesh to simulate changing flows, taking into account bathymetry, density variations, and external variables.  

The system includes real-time information on and predictions of wave heights, currents, water temperature, and so forth. It also incorporates meteorological information such as winds and outside temperature, among other things. The system can be further developed in the future to include information on water quality, bathing conditions, and sand movement.

The online system – developed within Technology Bonus Programme promoted and financed by Fomento de San Sebastián (the Research and Development Section of the Municipality of San Sebastián) – is accessible in Spanish here: www.waterforecast.es

The water forecast system for the coastal areas between San Sebastián and Pasaia is a local adaptation of our Water Forecast by DHI, which is available here: www.waterforecast.com