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Enhancing Standardisation strategies to integrate innovative technologies for Safety and Security in existing water networks

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - aqua3S (Enhancing Standardisation strategies to integrate innovative technologies for Safety and Security in existing water networks)

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2021-04-30

Even though several technologies have been developed for the analysis of drinking water, there is still an important gap on how these can be successfully integrated into already existing water safety networks. This gap has hindered multiple water safety/security technologies to reach their full potential and assist water utilities and water operators to act on a more efficient and faster manner. The aqua3S project steps in to combine novel technologies in water safety and security, aiming to standardize existing sensor technologies complemented by state-of-the-art detection mechanisms. The project will create strategies and methods enabling water facilities to easily integrate solutions regarding water safety through the combination of novel technologies in water safety and the standardisation of existing and newly developed sensor technologies. This will assist water utilities with their daily operations as well as the handling of water related crises, without having to completely transform their routines or make a shift towards a totally different system.
Management: To manage the project in line with the timeline and budget found in the DoA, internal reporting procedures were established, and coordination of related activities (e.g. quality assurance, data management plan) took place with the involvement of the scientific and technical manager.
Requirements: The first version of use case scenarios and user requirements for all seven pilot use cases was drafted, and further refined in a dedicated end users’ workshop. The final version along with the assessment of the user security requirements were defined by considering the software and hardware technologies of aqua3S.
Sensing: Selection and customization of a refractive index sensor, and a mid-infrared sensor. Moreover, satellite imagery was used for identifying pollutants on the water surface and detecting changes of areas in regard to water. A social media crawler was implemented to collect and process relevant public tweets. Finally, data from end users’ legacy systems and the sensors developed within aqua3S were collected.
Data fusion: Development of first version of aqua3S ontology that captures information retrieved from sensors, satellite data, social media. FIWARE solutions (ORION NGSI-LD Broker, Cygnus NGSI-LD Agent) have been deployed and developed around new data models. An algorithm that selects the optimal locations for sensor placement was developed and optimized. Finally, a tool that evaluates an organisation’s level of preparedness against hazardous events has been designed.
Early Warning & Decision Support: Visualization platforms have been developed that integrate information collected from sensors, social media, and satellite data processed layers. The design of the algorithm that assesses the consequences of threats in the water distribution network has initiated. Finally, flood hazard and risk maps were produced in an effort to estimate real-time the severity level of an ongoing flood event.
Social interaction: Thematic analysis of social media posts that are related to water quality and quantity crises was conducted for developing the guidelines for water and public authorities to communicate with citizens and communities. Best practices in public warning and among first responders were identified.
Integration: The user requirements were translated into functional and technical requirements, and the aqua3S architecture was designed. In order to protect and anonymize the data, a set of security requirements were considered. Moreover, the development, testing and deployment of the first aqua3S prototype was realized and steps towards the second prototype were initiated.
Pilots: The preparatory steps to perform the real time demonstration of the aqua3S pilots were taken, leading to the evaluation of the 1st prototype by 3 PUCs through tabletop exercises. Feedback from the users was collected through a dedicated questionnaire that is the basis for the further development of the 2nd prototype.
Policies & Standardisation: An analysis of international and EU regulations regarding water security took place to identify the gaps of the field. Relevant standards used by water authorities were reviewed in order to identify market’s needs. Moreover, aqua3S was actively involved in other initiatives including ICT4Water and Digital Water group. Finally, liaisons with CEN TC 164, TC 230 and TC 318 were initiated.
Dissemination/Exploitation: aqua3S has created a dynamic website and social media accounts to update its network with promotional materials. The first version of the market analysis and IPR were developed and will be used for identifying exploitation pathways and for developing a business plan.
Ethics: All partners addressed matters such as data protection, privacy, health, safety procedures and general research ethics.
1.Data acquisition from sensors, satellites and social media. Two innovative sensors have been designed and developed: a mid-infrared sensor that detects ammonia down to 1ppm with less frequent calibration; and a Refractive Index sensor that detects changes in water composition and is low cost, highly sensitive, and provides real-time measurements. An innovative method has been developed that identifies oil spills in inland waters by using deep learning techniques. Finally, social media are used in an innovative way to collect and analyze water quality related tweets from the consumers’ view.
2.Data harmonization and integration. aqua3S has adopted the FIWARE platform, which involved the use of ORION NGSI-LD Broker and Cygnus NGSI-LD. In order to store the data consumed and produced within aqua3S into ORION-LD Broker a set of FIWARE data models were designed, implemented and made public to the FIWARE github. Specifically, models for consuming SocialMedia, Satellite Imagery, Call Complaints, Risk and water management information were developed.
3.Crisis classification and modeling. Towards crisis management modelling, a tool has been designed that evaluates the organisation’s level of preparedness against several hazardous events. Regarding crisis identification and estimation of crisis severity level, flood hazard and risk maps were created that consider information from the analysis of Satellite images, social media posts as well as data from legacy tools of the stakeholders fused using machine learning techniques.
Impact: aqua3S aims to have a direct impact on both water-related stakeholders and the wider public. The system improves the way in which water authorities identify a problem as it considers information from various sources; presents them in a common platform; and identify the source of the event and its evolution in time. Furthermore, it supports the collaboration of people from different organizations, enabling their decision-making process. Moreover, the modularity of the platform provides water operators with the ability to incorporate aqua3S into their legacy systems, without having to completely replace their tools and operational procedures. The standardized solutions and methods to be produced will further assist water authorities and first responders with tacking a crisis in a uniform and efficient manner.
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