Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Distributed Water Quality Monitoring using Sensor Networks


The quality of the water in our rivers and lakes is increasingly coming under threat, not only from industry but also from the general pollution of our environment. Since in many parts of Europe river water is the source for our drinking water, treatment plant operators are faced with the more and more difficult task of determining the quality and deciding whether to use the water or not. At the other end of the process, waste water treatment plants have to apply more scrutiny to the water quality of their outlets. Finally, increasing public awareness puts pressure on public authorities and administrations to provide comprehensive and timely information on the state of the rivers and expected developments.
Operators at treatment plants have to manage large amounts of data, obtained from on-line sensors and laboratory analyses. Distributed sensor networks covering a complete river basin add to the difficulty of this task. There is a strong need for appropriate methods and tools to achieve a clear assessment of the current state of the water quality, to detect major pollution events quickly and to assess trends of the water quality, in both the short and long term. Current control and supervision systems do not fulfil these needs.
It is the objective of WaterNet not only to provide the users with a suitable technology but to demonstrate the usability and appropriateness of newly developed methods in real-life applications. It aims to show that both operators and authorities will be helped by intelligent aggregation and simplification of the vast amount of environmental measurement data. These methods are the result of the research and development carried out in ESPRIT Project 6757 - EMS (Environmental Monitoring Systems). Together with the users of three validation sites, the emphasis in WaterNet will be on:
- aggregation (fusion) of sensor data to simplify their understanding
- assessment and interpretation of the river state and its evolution
- presentation of information, at different levels of abstraction, to users of specific but widely varying classes.

Major Validation Sites
EBP, Suresnes, FR
Grupo Aguas de Barcelona, Barcelona, ES
Conseil Général (CG), Nanterre, FR

There will be direct involvement of EBP (River Seine monitoring) and AGBAR (River Llobregat, Barcelona, monitoring), and, through the planned User Group, the public administrations responsible for these areas.

The project will use advanced data validation (e.g. Fuzzy) and fusion (e.g. Kohonen Maps) techniques and decision support embedded in an agent-type distributed architecture.

Expected Benefits
- readier availability and access to quality data on the environment
- improvement of the quality of the environment in the longer term
- earlier warnings of pollution events
- considerably faster reaction to pollution events
- avoidance of late and unnecessary or shut-downs of production
- increased throughput and the continuity of water production
- a lead in this field of technology for pollution control
- higher security for water industries in the production process
- competitive edge for system vendors through being able to offer advanced systems.

Contribution to EU Policies
Enforcement of EU Directives, in particular the Council Directives 75/440/EEC (surface water for drinking water abstraction), 79/869/EEC (methods of measurement), 91/271/EEC (urban waste water treatment), and 78/659/EEC (fresh water).

Call for proposal

Data not available

Funding Scheme

Data not available


Lyonnaise des Eaux CITI


See on map

EU contribution
No data

Participants (5)