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April 2020
ICT4Water Quarterly Newsletter

Note from the editor

Despite the difficult circumstances, our member projects continue their research on smart water solutions. Their work has not gone unnoticed, CORDIS prepared a Results Pack around the work of 12 of our member projects. The participation of ICT4Water in the BRIDGE Cluster annual event revealed interest from- and synergies with the energy domain, resulting in a closer relationship with BRIDGE.

Meanwhile, the ICT4Water team is busy with the preparations for the ICT4Water Cluster Annual Meeting on June 16. You can read more about it in this newsletter. 

Next to the cluster related news, you can read contributions from our member projects WADI, SCOREwater, DWC and ZERO BRINE.

Please stay safe and healthy and we are looking forward meeting you at our annual meeting.

The ICT4Water team


June 16 - ICT4Water Cluster Annual Meeting 2020

On June 16, EASME will host the ICT4Water Cluster Annual meeting.  With only ten weeks to go, the preparations of the meeting are on full speed. The agenda is not final yet but will include presentations about upcoming relevant EU policies and programs, panel discussions, interactive sessions around the Action Plan and parallel workshops for the thematic Action Groups.

At this point in time it is unsure if a physical meeting in Brussels on June 16 can take place because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. That is why the team is evaluating the possibility of transforming the Annual meeting into an online event. Either way, we are determined to once again bring together researchers, policy makers and industry representatives from the smart water domain and have them share knowledge, best practices and latest insights and foster collaboration.

If you have any questions or comments about this event, do not hesitate to contact us. We are looking forward to meeting you on June 16, either in Brussels or in the online conference. Updated information will be available on the Annual meeting’s page on our website.


The power of ‘sewage sociology’

This is a contribution by SCOREwater, a H2020 Innovation Project which focuses on enhancing the resilience of cities against climate change and urbanization by enabling a water smart society.

The SCOREwater project consists of 3 case studies, each of them dealing with other water related challenges. (You can read more about the cases on our website: For now we want to highlight the Barcelona case, working on a smart water management system for sewer systems management. The really interesting and unique element is the ‘smart’ element. With sensors the municipality is able to ‘mine’ sensor data, mining biomarkers of community-wide lifestyle habits from sewage. This is what we like to call ‘sewage sociology’! You would be surprised how much data can be extracted from it. Our partner ICRA wrote an interesting piece on sewage sociology, also including interesting sources for further reading. (link to article)

Research is only as good as its gathered data. This is also true for sewage sociology. There were a lot of factors we took into account when looking for representative neighbourhoods for the data collection. For example, too small neighbourhoods would not be representative and too large neighbourhoods were at risk to be too diverse and with too much interference from other sources like hospitals, tourist accommodations and restaurants. These and other factor played a big role, read more about it on our website (link to article)

Want to stay up to date on the SCOREwater project? Follow us on Twitter @SCOREwaterEU or LinkedIn


Water & Energy: ICT4Water participates in annual BRIDGE Event

On 12 February representatives from the ICT4Water cluster participated in the annual event of the BRIDGE cluster, to which ICT4WATER was invited for the first time. The overall scope of the invitation was to explore synergies, interactions and potential paths for future collaboration.

BRIDGE is a European Commission initiative which unites Horizon 2020 Smart Grid and Energy Storage Projects to create a structured view of cross-cutting issues which are encountered in the demonstration projects and may constitute an obstacle to innovation. Its mission and activities are similar to the ICT4Water Cluster but focussed on the energy domain.

ICT4Water was invited to participate in three different parallel sessions and joined discussions about common topics such as interoperability, data management and the water-energy nexus. A full report of the event with conclusions and follow-up actions can be found here on the ICT4Water website.

The future of urban water management is digital!

Data and digital technologies have significant potential to improve the management of water infrastructures. The H2020 project is setting out to show how smart tech can boost the integrated management of water systems in five major European cities: Berlin, Copenhagen, Milan, Paris and Sofia.

15 advanced digital solutions are being developed and demonstrated in these urban areas to address current and future water-related challenges, tapping into the potential of cutting-edge technologies such as augmented reality, cloud computing, real-time sensors, artificial intelligence or predictive analytics.

The areas of application of the digital technologies are broad, ranging from groundwater management, sewer maintenance and operation, to wastewater treatment, urban bathing water management and agricultural irrigation. For example in Paris, new sensors and machine learning models are deployed to forecast bathing water quality and contamination risk in the river for the Olympic Games of 2024. In Berlin, an augmented reality app is proposed to make ground water visible and create a new communication channel with the citizens. The full list of our solutions can be consulted on our website.

DWC recently started a collaboration with the 3 sister H2020 projects of the same digital water call (SC05-11-2018 projects: SCOREwater, F4W and NAIADES). The cooperation aims at sharing best practices and addressing together common issues of digitalization such as water reference ontology, innovative business models and sensors demonstration. 

Dive deeper into the project on our website or get the latest updates by following us on Twitter and LinkedIn!


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Aerial patrol for water leaks

How super-resolution images from a drone's eye can help to find water leaks

No resource is more fundamental to life and human society than water. Yet, in half of the EU member states more than 20% of clean drinking water is lost due to leaking in water pipes, before it even reaches consumers.

Researchers have developed a new method to detect damage in water pipes using small planes and drones. Equipped with multispectral and infrared cameras, they are able to spot water leakages in large rural, inaccessible and dangerous places, where current ground methods, like the acoustic survey, fail. The method has been developed under the EU H2020 project WADI.

The team has already conducted first tests in France and Portugal. The results so far show that if only 20% of the European water networks would apply their solution, this alone could savee nearly 1.3 billion m3 water each year.

The project is now entering its final stage in which researchers are analysing the data recovered from airborne detection and they are factoring in parameters such as dry or wet weather, and bare or vegetated soil.

In addition they are also allowing for other factors that may influence accuracy of the infrared sensing cameras: materials used for piping, the presence of the irrigation works on the ground and so on. The final results will be unveiled this summer.

Photo: EDIA


ICT4Water projects feature in CORDIS results pack

The CORDIS Results Pack highlights 12 ICT4Water Cluster projects and showcases their innovative ICT solutions. In the words of CORDIS: "The solutions achieved are in line with the priorities of the von der Leyen Commission “European Green Deal” and “A Europe Fit for the Digital Age”. In particular, these projects support the digital transformation as a critical enabler for attaining the sustainability goals of the European Green Deal by contributing to the EU’s climate ambition and the zero-pollution ambition, as well as mobilising industry for a clean and circular economy."

Access the Results Pack here.

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