The European WatERP project, led by the Eurecat technology centre, has demonstrated that “Data Science” and interoperability contribute to improving the management of water resources.
Barcelona, 27 June 2016. Researchers at the Eurecat technology centre (a member of Tecnio) have been coordinating WatERP, a European project that has demonstrated how the introduction of artificial intelligence and data analysis techniques into the management of water and energy resources can lower consumption and offer a more flexible solution in comparison to traditional models.
Moreover, the project has shown that better exchange of information throughout the water supply and distribution chain improves coordination between actors while contributing to more informed decision-making.
The research initiative, which has been funded by the 7th framework project of the European Union, also produced evidence that the application of artificial intelligence helps expand on the amount of expert knowledge that already exists in the field
WatERP has developed a web platform that is capable of managing the entire water supply and distribution chain. It has been tested by the water supplier for the city of Karlsruhe and benefitted from significant input from the Catalan Water Agency (ACA).
Another advance made by the WatERP project is the creation of an open web platform that is able to present and manage the entire water distribution chain, using open standards to offer a fully integrated perspective. The platform has been developed in collaboration with the Catalan Water Agency (ACA), with the water supplier for the German city of Karlsruhe acting as a pilot. When fully implemented, the solution also provides learning mechanisms that enable it to expand its knowledge over time, which in turn allows managers to improve their knowledge of the water supply system.
WatERP has demonstrated the potential of intelligent, integrated management of resources. According to Gabriel Anzaldi, the head of Intelligent Management Systems at Eurecat, “a smart water network is not simply an individual system that optimises network efficiency; rather, it is a means to interlink various systems within a cycle, in order to share data between platforms and generate both inter- and intra-sectoral benefits”.
The European Commission has given the results a very positive evaluation and cited the project as a benchmark for its “ICT for Efficient Water Resources Management” initiative.
Anzaldi went on to explain that integration is vital in order to minimise the breakdown in the exchange of information that presently exists between the different actors and systems involved in water management. “This breakdown extends to the many fields involving interaction between heterogeneous systems”, he added.
“Initiatives and concepts such as Smart Cities and Industry 4.0 are already using technological advances to move towards the intelligent, integrated management of resources and processes that provide comprehensive benefits rather than focusing on one specific area”.
As well as achieving “specific results that significantly advance the state of the art in this sector”, Anzaldi emphasised that the project has made it possible to “consolidate a multi-disciplinary group oriented towards achieving major technological advances at the European level in the field of ICT for water”.
For its part, the European Commission considers the results to be extremely positive and has highlighted the successful achievement of all of the objectives and the high level of demonstrable effectiveness with regard to the integration of new methodologies and technologies.
For more information about the project please visit http://www.waterp-fp7.eu/
The Catalonia-based technology centre Eurecat is a member of TECNIO and draws on the experience of over 450 professionals, who together generate an annual turnover of 45 million euros. It provides services to more than 1,000 companies. Applied R&D, technological services, highly specialised training, technological consultancy and professional events are just some of the services Eurecat offers to large companies as well as small- and medium-sized companies across all sectors. Eurecat has facilities in Barcelona, Canet de Mar, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Girona, Lleida, Manresa, Mataró, Reus and Amposta and also has offices in Brazil. It is a partner in 160 major Spanish and international R&D&I consortium-based projects with high strategic value and boasts 73 patents and seven spin-offs. The added value provided by Eurecat accelerates innovation, reduces expenditure on scientific and technological infrastructure, lowers risk and provides specialist knowledge that is tailor-made to meet the needs of each business. For more information visit www.eurecat.org
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