The Flemish Government is making 9 million euros available for the rollout of Internet of Water, an intelligent water management system that can permanently monitor water quality and quantity and in real time. More than 2500 sensors will be installed in Flanders and deliver data to the self-learning software. Thanks to this data, Flanders can better arm itself against flooding, water scarcity and water pollution in the future.
The Internet of Water is a large-scale permanent sensor network with 2500 small, energy-efficient and wireless water quality sensors spread across Flanders. It maps the available water resources and the water quality of soil, ground and surface water and purified sewage water and monitors the evolution. Current measurement data, supplemented with self-learning predictions of important parametres, will make it possible to better utilize the water resources in function of the water demand.
Flemish Minister for Innovation Philippe Muyters: “Again technology and innovation prove their usefulness in tackling social problems. Sensors continuously transfer real-time data to self-learning software, which in turn can make realistic predictions. That, in turn, enables us to timely intervene. With Internet of Water, we give our water managers an innovative instrument that will enable them to better protect Flanders against flooding, water scarcity or water pollution.”
This project makes it possible to look further ahead and better anticipate, for example, to a critical decline in water quality or water scarcity. Permanent measurements linked to a predictive model make it possible to estimate longer in advance when problems will occur. In this way, it is possible to coordinate faster with the stakeholders involved (farms, inland shipping, water managers, etc.) to take measures to optimally manage the economic and ecological impact of any measures.
Flemish Minister for the Environment Koen Van den Heuvel: “This unique collaboration of Flemish actors from the water sector and knowledge centres is an important step in the innovation of water policy in Flanders. This initiative fits perfectly with the Drought and Water Nuisance Action Plan, which should make Flanders more robust in terms of water.”
The Internet of Water project is a bundling of forces with various partners: VMM, Watergroep, Aquafin, VITO, imec and Vlakwa and shows Flanders’ ambition to become an international leader in smart water management.