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December 2020
ICT4Water Quarterly Newsletter

Note from the editor

Welcome to the last newsletter of this year. An extraordinary and tough year where despite the difficult circumstances our member projects still managed to produce great results, like for example Sewers4COVID.

In this edition we feature contributions from PrimeWater, DWC, Run4Life, aqua3S, NextGen, HYDROUSA and the ICT4Water Action Group "Interoperability and Standardisation".

We wish you Happy Holidays and are looking forward to see you again in 2021!

Stay safe.
The ICT4Water team

Action Group “Interoperability and Standardisation”

ICT4WATER cluster cooperate with ETSI to deliver open standards supporting water domain digitalisation

The ICT4WATER cluster is closely collaborating with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to develop open standards at European level for the water domain. A noticeable achievement within this year has been the generation of SAREF4WATER as an ontology to model main systems, infrastructures and measures related to the water domain. SAREF4WATER is part of the ontologies integrated under SAREF umbrella (energy, environment, wearables, health, transport, etc.). Therefore, the interrelation of water information will be linked and shareable with a broad of domains facilitating the generation of newer digital services.

The ontology has been created by STF/SmartM2M and it is openly accessible over the devoted SAREF page in which the user can explore the ontology documentation (terms definitions, examples, schemas). Moreover, under this page, the user could also download the ontology in form of OWL, RDF, JSONLD, TTL and N3.

Complementing this ontology, the Industry Specification Group on Context Information Management (ISG CIM) is developing the cross-domain model and API allowing the actual implementation of the data exchange, using ontologies such as SAREF4WATER to contextualise the information. This work is supported by the FIWARE Foundation which provides open-source implementation of components complying to the ETSI NGSI-LD specification. These mentioned advancements are a cross-collaboration between projects and organization from the ICT4WATER cluster who are now deploying field demonstrations using this EU open standards.


Earth-Observation data products for an improved water resources management

Adapting to risks in a planned manner is far more efficient than reacting to a major system failure. This is also the case in the water management sector where adaptive planning is critical for proactively determining and mitigating water hazards. Advances in Earth Observation (EO) can be a catalyst to promote and support technology innovation in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), disaster resilience, and monitoring the effectiveness of implemented coping strategies.

By responding to the needs of stakeholders and potential users across the water sector (e.g. aquaculture, water utilities, hydropower operators, etc), the EU project PrimeWater aims to maximize the potential of EO technologies in water management. The project translates data acquired from multispectral sensors (e.g. Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2) into information on water status and quality. The experiments performed in all scientific domains of the PrimeWater project (i.e. remote sensing, process-based modelling, and data-driven modelling) are being made available in EO Virtual Laboratory, which can function as repository of experiments as well as a platform for collaborative research. To learn more, read the following news:

To learn more about PrimeWater, please visit


Digital water united

Five H2020 projects joined forces to strengthen the impact of digitalisation on the water sector., SCOREWater, Fiware4Water, Naiades and aqua3S are all working along the general theme of “digital water”. Together, they created DigitalWater2020 to build common knowledge in innovative areas, such as FIWARE (the Open Source platform for smart digital future), internet of things, sensors, etc. This group aims to support decision-making, bring digital water solutions to the market, and achieve wider uptake among key stakeholders from utilities to industries. To do so, they tap into synergies and complementarities across R&D and communication activities and share experiences on digitalisation in the water sector. Although the initiative was initially suggested by EASME, it developed further exceeding expectations thanks to the commitment of its members. It gave all partners the chance to interact, to exchange knowledge and to cooperate for specific challenges. The DigitalWater2020 Group shows that research projects can be more impactful when working together.

Read more


‘Fertilisers from wastewater’ an award winning concept

Run4Life is an EU project focused on recovering fertilisers from domestic wastewaters. With the technologies applied in Run4Life the nutrients from wastewater can safely be converted into fertiliser products. In four cities in Europe this concept is applied at full scale. This year, two of the demonstration sites were awarded prizes for their innovative approach towards wastewater. Oceanhamnen in Helsingborg received the ‘Smart City Implementation’ award. This award is granted to the most innovative implementations in the Smart City market.

Visionary image of Oceanhamnen

In Ghent, the Nieuwe Dokken district has won three awards; silver in the category ‘Business Process’ of the European Business Awards for the Environment , silver for the Belgian Business Awards for the Environment and the National winner of the Energy Globe Award.

Do you want to know more about this project? Look at or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.


Moving towards water security and safety with aqua3S

aqua3S is a Horizon 2020 funded project which started in September 2019. It is coordinated by CERTH-ITI and involves 22 partners across Europe.

The project aims at creating standardized methods and strategies for water safety and security for all involved stakeholders. Towards this goal, it develops innovative sensors that will be installed in key points of the existing water distribution network and also consider existing market sensors and the measurements of SCADA legacy systems. This data collection is enriched by imagery collected from UAVs and satellites while data from social media will be collected as well mostly focusing on citizens’ reports on water related matters.

For the processing of the aforementioned data, aqua3S aims at creating a “smart” interconnection of the data produced from all the sources, raising alarms when anomalies are detected, providing real-time assessment for the crisis severity level, and forecasting the performance of the water distribution networks under different scenarios. This information is visualized in 3D map that allows inspection of the system status and temporal variations in an intuitively and efficient interface that covers the needs of each end user.

Finally, in order to ensure the system’s functionality, seven pilots are realised throughout Europe – more specifically, in Italy, Greece, France, Cyprus, Belgium and Bulgaria. On the 3rd of November 2020, the aqua3S team tested its first prototype through a set of TableTop Exercises. Through multiple scenarios the involved end users tested successfully the 1st prototype by simulating their daily operations and crisis emergencies that could be dealt with the aqua3S system.

For more information visit the project website:


The circular economy of water is not as new as you think

Over 25 years ago, a group of Dutch water companies came together to make the most of the waste they were generating – and now they barely consider it waste at all.

AquaMinerals was born out of a waste problem. Different water drinking companies were producing sludge – and other solid wastes – from their production processes and decided to join forces in dealing with the high costs of disposal.

A quarter of a century later and the Dutch water reuse company is transforming the residuals into a range of raw materials for new products – like liming pellets for gardening, cosmetics and glass bottles.

Read the full article here at NEXTGEN's website.


Decentralized water value chains to combat water scarcity

HYDROUSA is a Horizon 2020 research & innovation project aiming to recover water from non-conventional sources by capitalizing on the rational management of water resources. Our goal is to close the water loops and boost the agricultural and energy profile in the Mediterranean region using nature-based innovative systems at local level. 28 partners from 10 countries are involved in the project with the National Technical University of Athens as coordinator.

The Islands of Lesvos, Tinos and Mykonos are hosting six full scale demonstration sites where sustainable innovative and nature-based solutions for water/wastewater treatment and management are developed within the framework of HYDROUSA.

We are thrilled to step into HYDROUSA’s most important phase as almost all of the project’s solutions are already implemented and will soon be fully operational. We have two years of demonstration ahead to show how circularity can be the solution to water scarcity providing at the same time sustainable agricultural development and supporting biodiversity.

HYDROUSA has attracted the attention of the scientific community, media and investors. The project’s most recent news include the development of a policy brief on the EU Green Deal, the development of a methodology on circularity assessment which is already applied by companies, several publications in prestigious journals and the development of a monitoring tool for precision irrigation which is already on the market. Furthermore, the US TV channel of CNBS hosted a documentary on the HYDROUSA mangrove desalination system developed in Tinos.

Project website:

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The projects in the ICT4Water cluster received funding from the European Union’s LIFE or Horizon2020 research and innovation programme.