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A holistic water ecosystem for digitisation of urban water sector

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NAIADES (A holistic water ecosystem for digitisation of urban water sector)

Reporting period: 2019-06-01 to 2020-11-30

The digitalisation of the water sector has been identified as a significant contribution to the operational improvement of water management, a process that is already underway. It is evident that managing water resources is becoming increasingly important and Smart Water Management has become a critical need. Since water resources are finite, water authorities must be able to assess what is the current water supply and its characteristics and determine how to meet the future water demands for sustainable economic growth in view of the foreseen problems as well as protect water resources.

NAIADES aims to address the increased need for sustainable and eco-friendly water methodologies by defining a new ICT framework. Driven by the need to yield an end-to-end, uniform approach, NAIADES redefines water management by taking into consideration issues pertaining to cost, safety, complexity, vulnerability, societal acceptance, user behaviour and ethics. NAIADES envisions transforming the water sector through automated and smarter water resource management and environmental monitoring, achieving a high level of water services in both residential or commercial consumers, while exploiting the efficient use of physical and digital components of water ecosystem.

More specifically, NAIADES attempts: (i) To harmonize and integrate the different water EU vocabularies and data by designing and developing the NAIADES data-driven methodology and workflow process for rapid development and deployment translational data capture tools, (ii) To support connectivity, intelligence, actuation and control features through innovative methods and technologies for data analytics, open APIs and interoperability, (iii) To develop an AI driven ICT framework and AI based models and DSS for improved water management, (iv) To enhance end-users’ awareness, (v) To realise a holistic security and privacy toolkit.
NAIADES services and components aimed at having a first offline version (outside NAIADES platform) to probe they can provide the required solution. As a result, 7 use cases have been identified. NAIADES platform was designed to be modular, interoperable (FIWARE compliant), secure, expandable (in order to be easily applied to any new end user). Most of the sensors have being created or/and installed and most of the data required from the pilots is being pushed to NAIADES development platform by the correspondent Data Collectors and Aggregators. NAIADES development platform is formed by FIWARE core modules and it is currently working online with some of the AI services, DSS and HMI. The production platform deployment has also started, having the core FIWARE components installed and currently proceeding with the installation of security mechanisms.

AI-based services with the use of state-of-the-art ML and DL have been developed (water related anomaly detection/prediction, weather prediction, water consumption. Mock-up design and initial GUI development of the NAIADES Marketplace has been accomplished. In order to enhance end-user’s awareness, Water Consumption Awareness Apps and Dashboards for (i) Water Management Companies & Public officials, (ii) Public Employees and (iii) Water Consumers have already been developed and can be explored for meeting policy strategies.

Dissemination efforts were pursued in order to maximise the global outreach of NAIADES, not only online (through social media, website, newsletter), but also at the global level, through work initiated with leading publishers (Springer), collaborations with global organisations (EC, ETSI, ITU), participation in international events (ex. Digital Around the World) and collaboration with DigitalWater2020 Cluster. In terms of dissemination, NAIADES partners reported 8 publications. NAIADES' work has been disseminated at the level of Standards Developing Organisations. In spite of Covid-19 constraints, the partners have attended 19 relevant water-related events in person. A highlight to be noted was the participation in the Digital Around the World 2020 (MI chaired the session on "Towards a Global Green New Deal - Leveraging IoT and Research for the SDGs"). NAIADES project organized the session ‘IoT Applications for the Water Sector’ with the DigitalWater2020 cluster.

NAIADES consortium members were requested to elaborate an initial identification of their expected key exploitable results (KER). An “elevator pitch” session was organised during the Plenary meeting. It has been agreed that such number of different technologies, methodologies, expertise and business interests needed to be properly addressed in two different and complementary exploitation approaches: (a) The joint exploitation of the entire system as a whole either as a product or as a FIWARE-based reference architecture and (b) the individual exploitation of 16 products/services. Based on the KER definitions, the NAIADES exploitation strategy was defined and will be further detailed and reviewed over the course of the project with the full collaboration and commitment of the partners, focusing on the development of business models, IPR and cost-effective analysis.
NAIADES platform aims to go above and beyond the state of the art in the water sector, with a multitude of innovations and pioneering solutions, all integrated within a single uniform and versatile platform. NAIADES AI services are based on state-of-the-art DL algorithms.

For the water demand forecast (currently conducted with basic analysis or ARIMA models bac), AI predictions can offer improved results with higher accuracy for operation planning, having a direct impact on the energy consumption and carbon footprint. NAIADES solution, based on a novel approach similar to the Israeli Takadu, aims to utilize the knowledge provided by AI and complement the existing methods in order to overcome their limitations and extend their capabilities. Saline intrusion is by definition beyond the state of the art since there are no known precedents of similar ambition.

The control of salinity in the sewerage is usually performed on single points through conductivity sensors, while the corelation between waste-water flow and conductivity is not considered. Fountain management has incorporated several innovations, such as prototype sensors that are able to study/research the Chlorate behaviour in water by interpolating the measurements, thus having a real time indication/estimation of the Chlorates. NAIADES framework can implement route planning and water consumption control, which in turn can be applied in other similar tasks, such as street cleaning or fixed tank filling. The innovation beyond the state-of-the-art stems mainly from the fact that even in the case the tank trucks are equipped with water meters, still much information regarding where this water was consumed is missing; which is a shortcoming solved by NAIADES. Added value of NAIADES, is the possibility to incorporate mechanisms to monitor and detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in public fountains. It is yet not clear to what extent SARS-CoV-2 could remain infective in bathing water, especially in the case where the chlorine content is lower than certain levels. Prototype sensors have been developed for the urban flower boxes, with small scale custom weather stations, to provide accurate evapotranspiration measurements.
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