BTO rapport - BTO 2019.045

Hydroinformatics and Smart Water Management - Current State and Opportunities for the BTO Utilities


The water sector in a rapidly digitising world. With the advancing digitisation and interconnectedness of society at all levels, the handling of data and the valorisation of information extracted is an increasingly important issue. Developments that leverage new technology offer the water sector opportunities to do things differently. This comes at the right time, since the water sector is now being confronted with a wide range of challenges, such as climate change, population growth, urbanisation and migration, chemicals of emerging concern, and ageing infrastructure, for which solutions need to be found. As in other industry sectors, harnessing data and the versatile options of further digitisation are expected to help make the water sector future-proof. The handling of data and the valorisation of information extracted, digital optimisation and control of systems, model-based decision-making and scenario generation have become indispensable.
Information science, data science and digital technology are relatively recent additions in the workings of the water sector. Reliance on such technology is, however, rapidly increasing and stakeholders at all levels are finding their way in this new digital reality. All these aspects are encompassed by the fields of hydroinformatics and smart water management, which are concerned with the development and application of information technology in and for the water sector. The two fields are truly interdisciplinary because they integrate knowledge and methods from any domain where data are collected and processed (Figures 1.1 and 1.2).
This report aims to provide a vision on the digital water sector of the future. This vision is based on an analysis of the current state-of-play and of technology trends. This vision will be used to identify opportunities to be exploited and risks to be addressed in several contexts, including the BTO programme. This will be done in a workshop with the BTO participants, to be organized in September 2019.

Met de voortschrijdende digitalisering en connectiviteit van de samenleving op alle niveaus wordt de verwerking van gegevens en de valorisatie van informatie steeds belangrijker. Net als andere industriĆ«le sectoren verwacht de watersector dat het gebruik van gegevens en de beschikbaarheid van veelzijdige opties voor verdere digitalisering zullen helpen bij het versterken van de toekomstbestendigheid. Dit rapport geeft een visie op de digitale watersector van de toekomst, gebaseerd op een analyse van de huidige stand van zaken en van technologische trends. Deze visie identificeert kansen en risico’s in verschillende contexten. Het is bedoeld als kader voor verder denken en discussiĆ«ren en om de agenda voor onderzoek, ontwikkeling en toepassing te helpen bepalen.

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