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Smart Water Management Platform

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - SWAMP (Smart Water Management Platform)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2019-11-01 do 2020-10-31

The SWAMP project developed IoT based methods and approaches for smart water management in precision irrigation domain, and piloted them in Italy, Spain, and Brazil. The main problem with irrigation-based agriculture is the balancing of the water need of crop with the amount of water spread on the field. The second problem is ensuring the availability of water to everyone who needs it. Also, the cost of irrigation water has become significant.

Water is vital for ensuring food security to the world’s population, and agriculture is the biggest consumer amounting for 70% of freshwater. In attempts to avoid under-irrigation, farmers feed more water than is needed resulting not only to productivity losses, but also water is wasted. Also, the water distribution networks are wasting water through leaking or evaporation. Therefore, technology is needed for sensing the level of water needed by the plantation and for flowing the water to places where and when needed.
The overall objectives of the SWAMP project were to explore the use of IoT in smart water management and to implement and test applications for precision irrigation and water distribution that led to water and cost savings.

The project developed a SWAMP platform and application systems for all pilots. The approaches were iteratively tested in pilot areas until COVID-19 lockdowns ended the field activities. The final impact evaluations were performed using simulations. The overall conclusion is that IoT technology provides means for collection data, using advanced analyses methods, and performing precise actions that can significantly reduce the losses in water management. The situational awareness achieved with IoT and SWAMP platform creates a solid basis for accurate decision-making. Agriculture is very diverse domain with lot of variety in locations and contexts, that needs solutions based on open IoT ecosystems. This will be a challenge for technology providers in the future.
During the project, the following efforts have been done:

We implemented:

- the SWAMP platform that consists of FIWARE IoT platform, application platform, management platform, and semantic data platform based on SEPA/Linked Data. The IoT platform managed the interaction with IoT devices, i.e. sensors, weather stations, solar power systems, and actuators. Application platform consisted of interfaces to weather forecasts, drone and imaging systems, water need estimations, irrigation planning services and interfaces to SWAMP applications. Management platform had functions for data entry and system monitoring and management.
-the SWAMP drone system with data collection payloads, communication with cloud services and SWAMP platform, and autonomous mission capabilities. We used both commercial multi-spectral cameras and self-designed module that was able to transmit the images directly to the cloud service.
- SWAMP farmer Android application for monitoring fields and management zones, for reviewing and modifying irrigation recommendations and plans, for launching autonomous drone missions, and for starting and monitoring irrigations.
- SWAMP Android application for water distribution gatekeeper for reviewing the water requests and updating the gate and irrigation operations.
- SWAMP web application for water distribution management for monitoring of the situation of the irrigation needs of the fields and the water levels and gate positions of the water distribution network in the water distribution area.
- Data collection infrastructures consisting of sensors, gateways, solar power systems, and weather stations. We used both commercial soil sensor and self-designed multi-depth soil moisture probes.
- Actuators for irrigation systems such as SWAMP valve and pump that could be controlled from the SWAMP platform. We also installed automated gates to open canal system.
- SWAMP systems for all pilots. In three pilots the systems consisted of SWAMP cloud instances with farm models, and pilot-specific data collection elements. SWAMP SEPA platform was used in the water distribution water distribution management pilot.

We collected data from the pilots, until the COVID-19 lockdown. It also prevented the uses of irrigation recommendations and automated irrigation and field-test based impact evaluations. We developed simulations to analyse the impacts of SWAMP platform, the IoT monitoring based improved situation awareness, and more fine-grained capability to execute the irrigation and water distribution.

We developed project practices, dissemination, communication, and innovation and exploitation support. Almost all work has been done as a team with members from both sides of Atlantic. .

The main results of the project are the SWAMP platform and the system model on how IoT-based systems should be developed and deployed in farming and water management. All the results of the project have been published in 8 journal and 32 conference papers, as well as in 14 posters published as short papers. All the code, data models and design documentation of IoT, drone, and other devices has been put to open source repository to be available to everyone. The project has a website, LinkedIn account and Twitter account that been used for dissemination of awareness and results. The participating companies are exploiting the project results. In addition, a start-up VAIMEE was established in Italy to commercialise the SEPA platform.
SWAMP has developed a smart water management platform for precision irrigation based on advanced IoT and semantic web concepts. It extends FIWARE IoT platform with semantic web capabilities and intelligent solutions for balancing water consumption with plants water needs. Intelligence is achieved by understanding the crop and soil conditions at farms and by being able to forecast their future development. The situational awareness of water need is created both from the direct measures of the soil and form the multi-spectral imaging. This heterogeneous analysis combines drone based sensing with artificial intelligence and machine learning.

SWAMP has created an advanced and system with several degrees of autonomy. It extends the use of drones beyond normal imaging to IoT based data collection. The autonomous execution of different missions has been implemented and tested. Automation has been a target in irrigation. Precise control of soil moisture in plants root systems needs more fine-grained irrigation that in turn needs to be executed with less human interaction as done today. This has positive impact to total water consumption. The SWAMP also integrates the water distribution and water consumption in the same decision-making system that helps us to eliminate the waste of water typical in large-scale water distribution networks in rural areas. This is achieved with better understanding of irrigation needs in the area and with more need-based scheduling of water distribution.

Climate change, increasing population, and pollution are making water a very critical and limited resource. Precision irrigation and smart water distribution optimise the efficiency of water use. It will increase the amount of crop, it will improve the quality of crop, it will save the water, and it will save the energy needed in pumping the water, it will save the environment. The outcome is better availability of water, better possibilities to ensure the fairness of water distribution, and better life for people.
SWAMP drone made by Quaternium collecting RFID data from Cartagena pilot
SWAMP 3 depth LoRA soil moisture sensors in Cartagena pilot
Automatic gate installed to Open Canal in Emilia Romagna pilot