The Haiti Environment Network (HEN) is run by a team of researchers from Columbia University (CU Hydrology) with support from the United Nations Environment Program and collaborators from the Haitian government and local NGOs. Ongoing efforts are underway to develop and deploy a network of climatology and hydrology monitoring stations across the southwestern coast of Haiti. Several stations have been collecting data since January 2010. Data gathered on regional atmospheric conditions and river hydrology are used to aid studies regarding hydroelectricity potential in the region, and to analyze the causes, impacts and risks of flooding.
While all of Haiti lacks robust historical and spatially distributed hydro-climatology data, the southwest is a particularly data-scarce area. As with the rest of the nation, the region has experienced extensive deforestation which has led to losses in valuable topsoil. This combination, along with exposure to hurricanes and tropical storms have made the population extremely vulnerable to catastrophic losses due to heavy rainfall, flooding, landslides, and flash floods.
The aim of HEN is to provide data that can be used for environmental studies and projects. A major goal for this work is to foster greater interest in future research and collaboration in the fields of hydrology, water and land management in the region and country. If you would like to know more about the work and research of the HEN or would like to work with us on a project, you can contact us directly.