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June 2020
ICT4Water Quarterly Newsletter

Note from the editor

Although in a different setting as originally scheduled, the ICT4Water team looks back on a successful, productive and inspiring Cluster online meeting. Bringing together our members from the research community, policy makers and industry representatives, resulted in fruitful discussions and new insights and learnings. You can read all about it in this newsletter, on the ICT4Water website or the EASME event page.

In this edition, we also give a warm welcome to our four new cluster members, being PrimeWater, G3P, Blue RoSES and SAPIENCE.

Next to the cluster related news, you can read the contribution from our new member project PrimeWater, who is working on enhancing Earth Observation data for monitoring inland waters.

Please stay safe and healthy and we will return to you with more news on smart water research after the summer period.

The ICT4Water team


Online ICT4Water Cluster Annual Meeting 2020 on June 16

On 16 June, the ICT4Water cluster Annual meeting gathered nearly 150 professionals from the smart water community and over 30 member projects to work together on the digital transformation of the water sector. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, this year’s annual meeting took place online. The event was organised by EASME with the support from DG CONNECT and comprised of presentations from keynote speakers and interactive panel discussions. The host of the event was  Sotirios Kanellopoulos, EASME Project adviser H2020 Eco-innovation.

In her welcome speech, Carmen Mena Abela (EASME Head of Sector Eco-Innovation). noted that “a lot has been achieved in the last year, but the momentum is even more favourable for the ICT4Water cluster”. ICT4Water projects are employing digital solutions as a means to achieve a greener value chain in water management, agriculture and water-intense industries. Thus the twin digital and green transitions embraced by Europe are the core of the cluster’s mission. She underlined that the cluster fits perfectly in the COVID recovery plan but it will also need to adapt to the new objectives of the Commission and need to continue delivering tangible results contributing to the welfare of the people in Europe and the environment.

The event hosted several presentations and panel discussions, grouped in three sessions:

1) ICT4Water in the EU policy context

2) ICT4Water and COVID-19

3) ICT4Water, Action Plan and Action Groups

You can read more these session further in this newsletter or on the ICT4Water website.


ICT4Water, Action Plan and Action Groups

During the Cluster annual meeting, the leaders of the seven Action Groups of the cluster, Franck Le Gall (EGM), Christos Makropoulos (NTUA), Aitor Corchero (Eurecat), Theodora Tsikrika (ITI), Eva Martinez (AQUALIA), Floor Brouwer (Wageningen Research) and Richard Elelman (Eurecat), participated in a panel and discussed on “ICT4Water cluster in support of new EU priorities”. The panel was moderated by Sotirios Kanellopoulos.

Each of the Action Group leaders gave an update of their Action Group, as outlined in the Action Plan, and presented their plans, activities, and results for the coming period. The conclusion of this panel was that presenting the results of the work of the Action Groups in the form of white papers is a good way of reaching a broad audience. Next to that, it was recognised that the cluster should work on strengthening their linkage and collaboration with their key stakeholders, being policy makers on all levels, SMEs and industry, the general public and the water research community itself, to ensure maximum impact of the work done by the cluster projects. The Action Groups have worked individually on their respective topics and we will keep you posted about their progress and results.


ICT4Water in the EU policy context

During the Cluster annual meeting, policy makers from DG Environment (Tobias Biermann), DG Energy (Anne Katherina Weidenbach) DG Climate Action (Andras Toth) and DG CONNECT (Andrea Halmos) sat in a panel to discuss about the “ICT4Water cluster in support of new EU priorities”. The panel was moderated by Dragan Savic, CEO of KWR Water Research Institute.

The conclusion of this panel was that within the different DGs water is in the radar and this is reflected in their policies and directives. EU-funded platforms like FIWARE are consulted during the development of new policies. It was made clear that not all proposals from the Commission are adopted without changes by the European Parliament and the Council. For example, for the new Drinking Water Directive the Commission proposed a monthly reporting period, while member states opted for a yearly reporting period. It was also pointed out that the main barrier for adopting climate mitigating measures by member states is siloed thinking.

Panellists probed the audience with questions via getting some noteworthy replies in return. For example, in response to the question “Digitalization of which part of the water sector contributes mostly in Energy efficiency?” 48% replied “Water distribution” while 36% “Waste Water treatment”. Trying to interpret the results, perhaps the former case points to efficiency due to energy savings while the later case to energy efficiency due to energy recovery from waste water.

Welcome to our new Cluster members

Four new projects joined the Cluster in the past period.


Building on advanced Earth-Observation data products, integration with additional data sources and diagnostic modelling tools, public and private sector decisions for water resources management are provided with better and actionable information.


The G3P project develops a Global Gravity-based Groundwater Product (G3P) that will show groundwater storage variations with global coverage and monthly resolution from 2002 until present.

Blue RoSES

Blue RoSES aims at developing innovative services that seek to adapt marinas and leisure boat design to changing customer demand. It does this by integrating robotics and IoT.


SAPIENCE is an EIT Climate KIC Pathfinder project. Through the
deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in the fields to monitor agricultural practices, it creates a system that incentivises and rewards virtuous behaviours.


Enhancing Earth Observation data and other Copernicus sectoral services.

Advances in Earth Observation can be a catalyst to promote technological innovation in Integrated Water Resources Management, by providing a sustainable and effective way for monitoring inland waters, but also by increasing adaptive capacity and building resilience to hydro-ecological hazards when combined with modelling applications.

The EU funded PrimeWater project is adding value to EO data and other Copernicus sectoral services. This is through cross-cutting research, using state of the art process-based and data-driven modelling for predicting hydrological extremes and water quality issues such as Harmful Algae Bloom events in lakes and reservoirs. The aim is to improve the skill of hydro-ecological forecasts and their related impact at different spatial and temporal scales, by integrating satellite imaging spectrometry into the modelling chain through advanced Data Assimilation techniques and Machine Learning algorithms.

By providing increased situational intelligence and enhanced early warning capabilities, PrimeWater enables informed decision making and allows water managers to optimise the operation of their downstream water services and to better prepare against forthcoming critical changes in water quantity and quality.

Subscribe to the PrimeWater newsletter on the website to receive the latest news on project products and services!


Important role for sewage surveillance in the fight against COVID-19

A dream team of 15 professionals from five different institutes spread across four countries has won the #EUvsVIRUS Hackathon with their solution named Sewers4COVID. The Hackathon was an initiative organised in April by the European Commission aimed to connect civil society, innovators, partners and investors from all over the world to develop innovative solutions for coronavirus related challenges. The team members, who know each other from the cluster project Sim4Nexus, combined different skills like microbiology, AI and data analysis. In only 60 hours they went from idea to presenting a working prototype.

Sewers4COVID is an early warning system combining different data sources to provide decision makers with reliable data to base their decisions on regarding COVID measures. For future development of the system, openness of the data and the platform is required. Collaboration with similar initiatives is sought on local, regional, national, European and global level. The team has presented its work on the ICT4Water Cluster annual meeting.

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