Forth ERA, SIEC and the race to create a net zero carbon emissions society

Forth Environmental resilience array

Digital Water and Nature Based Solutions for Climate Change 

key results

  • Partnership development of examplar digital water data management and visualisation
  • Data analyse assisting in the creation of nature based solutions for climate change initiatives 

what is forth era?

3DEO are proud to be one of a number of partner companies in the Forth Environmental Resilience Array (Forth-ERA) project. Centred within the University of Stirling this is a Flagship project for Scotland’s International Environment Centre (SIEC), aiming to develop a suite of open-data tools to support Scotland’s climate change journey and their goal of becoming a net zero society.  

The Firth of Forth covers a huge area – 55 miles in length and 19 miles across at it’s widest part, with 13 separate river catchments it has a unique ecosystem that differs greatly across its course. The vastness of the landscape and it’s lowland position also makes the Forth catchment area home to a quarter of Scotland’s total population. It’s this variation that makes the Forth a great environment for the living laboratory that is the Forth-ERA project. The team uses the latest technology, including our Active Maps platform, to visualise data provided by satellite observations and a variety of  sensors.  

developing a world beating digital water project

The eventual aim for the Forth-ERA project is to create an immersive digital water data experienceThe Forth-ERA Active Maps profile will hold data and detail about water quality, biodiversity, flood and drought information, peatlands and air quality. The open data will provide one source of information that a wide range of partnership companies such as Scottish Water, SEPA and others can call upon to understand the effects of the sustainability schemes they’re running to aim for a carbon-neutral society.  

Dr Peter D. Hunter
Forth-ERA Science Director & Associate Professor of Earth Observation Scotland's International Environment Centre

The Forth-ERA project is the primary force in Scotland’s bid to become a net-zero society, in developing a detailed understanding and analysis of the Firth of Forth we’re creating programmes that use nature to reverse climate change impact in our ecosystems and environment

Dr Peter D. Hunter
Forth-ERA Science Director & Associate Professor of Earth Observation Scotland's International Environment Centre

The team at 3DEO are experts in their field, working with us as experts in ours, we’ve developed a cutting edge digital estate for the Firth of Forth and become an exemplar for digital water in the process, the ability to visualise climate programme results on our Active Maps dashboard allows our successes to be easily digested by a wide target audience.

Some of the key use cases for the data dashboards we’re developing with Forth-ERA would include:  

Peatlands – This is a high priority project for Scotland with more than 20% of the land being ‘peaty soil’ the environmental benefits of restoring much of the damaged peatlands are huge, this ecosystem is capable of capturing and holding a huge amount of carbon, as well as providing excellent habitat for a range of rare plants, insects and other wildlife.  The restoration of peatlands would also contribute to improved water quality and mitigation of flood and drought risks. 

Water Quality – Through both satellite information and data buoys the Forth ERA project will bring detailed information to dashboards that will monitor water quality, provide real-time detection and alerts on sewage overflows and access the success of climate adaptation strategies 

Flood and Drought – Developing a hydrological model of the River and Estuary to model and scenario test flood likelihood for crisis management.  

Biodiversity – As part of a wider project within the University of Stirling a research team are developing AI that can detect the presence of tree canopies from ariel photography, visualising this and seeing time-series analysis of the information will inform success of reforestation projects.  


As Forth-ERA continue to develop their estate on Active Maps the 3DEO team are there to support them as an exemplar for digital water across the UK, developing strategy and solution off the back of the data provided to propel Scotlands climate change goals forward and show the UK and beyond how to develop and scale in the same way as part of the global movement to find nature based, green solutions to climate change.  

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