ICT4Water Cluster promotes water efficiency
It supports projects in several countries to provide policy and practical solutions in cross-border and trans-national regions
- February 22, 2020 15:00
Water efficiency has become one of the major issues on the EU's and the world's agenda. Climate change, growing population, extreme weather conditions have made this problem one of the most important today.
In that regard, the EU has funded the development of a hub for research and innovation projects – ICT4Water in the field of digital water management. At the end of 2018, 4 projects were showcased in Vienna.
These are SIM4NEXUS (France, Greece, Malta, Latvia, Germany), SWSS (Portugal), POWER (Spain, the UK, the Netherlands, Israel, Italy) and SPACE-O. Today, they develop case studies, research and solutions to problems in the field of water management.
SIM4NEXUS aims to provide a sound scientific basis and to develop platforms that will integrate data and serve as a basis for capacity-building, consultations and exchange of experience and best practices.
Some of the latest developments under SIM4NEXUS include “A water-energy-food nexus toolkit to support sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development in water-scarce regions”. It is aimed to help African regions through knowledge and data transfer as well as the application of best practices to the African context.
The project also provides policy recommendations. The latest one dates to January 2020 and is in relation to the European green deal proposed by the European Commission. It offers observations and practical solutions to problems in the field of water management, food-chain supply, agriculture, energy supply, etc.
SWSS (Smart Water Supply Systems)
The project supports several demonstration sites across Portugal in order to find solutions to increased water supply and water management efficiency. It has developed a platform combining different modules for prediction, assessment, optimization, etc.
The platform was implemented in three industrial-scale demonstration sites with the aim to reduce energy consumption, CO2 emissions and water losses. The project was co-financed under the LIFE program and ended in the second half of 2019.
The end of the project, however, does not mean the end of the platform. There are more activities to be developed including strategies for dissemination of the information gathered, raising awareness and recognizing new R&D areas.
POWER (Political and Social Awareness on Water Environmental Challenges)
The project was financed under Horizon 2020 and had a budget of close to 4 million euros. It has been finalized at the end of 2019 with the set up of a Digital Social Platform.
The main goals of the platform are to enable large-scale innovation in the development of digital products that will raise awareness, initiate new policies, and boost citizen inclusion in fields such as reduction of water consumption, flood risk, water conservation, etc. The project brought together partners from the UK, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Israel with four pilot cities that tested the platform.
Milton Keynes (UK) took action to reduce overall water consumption, while Sabadell (Spain) developed an information system that keeps track of water quality for drinking and non-drinking purposes.
Leicester (UK) created a GIS mapping for possible flood-risk areas and Jerusalem (Israel) came up with different plans for water conservation in an area where water supply is problematic.
Potable water represents a very small percentage of the overall water on the planet. In the backdrop of climate change and adverse weather conditions, it becomes even more problematic to have regular water supplies. And this is also true for areas that don`t traditionally have such problems.
SPACE-O project was created to promote technology innovation through the provision of regular and up-to-date space data and modelling information to utility companies and policymakers. This will help with the providing of water supply appropriate for human consumption and will support different policy initiatives.
Two scientific studies are being tested in Sweden and Italy to provide information for hydrological modelling and planning. The data received will serve as a basis for water companies to develop better strategies for efficient water management.
These projects developed under the ICT4WATER Cluster are some of the best examples of cross-border, trans-national cooperation in the field of water management. The findings will be applicable not only in Europe but also around the world and especially in countries that already experience water scarcity due to natural or man-made causes.
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