Deltares: Digital Delta Launched (The Netherlands)
Smarter ways of exchanging information in the water sector should result in lower costs, innovation and a stronger international position.
Rijkswaterstaat, IBM, the Delfland water authority, Delft University of Technology and Deltares announced the launch of Digital Delta yesterday. Over a period of 12 months, these organisations will be looking at how improvements to the way information is shared and the intelligent re-use of ICT applications can result in improvements to water management in the Netherlands. At the same time, it will be possible to enhance the economic position of the Dutch water sector internationally.
The Netherlands has the world’s best operational water management system. However, the costs involved in water management increase every year, for example because of changes in weather conditions. The Dutch Management Agreement for Water states that the Dutch government spends an annual €7 billion on water management. If no action is taken, this sum will increase over the next seven years by between one and two billion euros. It has been found that organisations involved in the water sector benefit if they work together and can share the available information more extensively.
The aim of the Digital Delta project is therefore to bring together the data from a range of water projects and to make them available in a simple way. Those data may relate to rainfall, water levels, water quality, or dike sensors, but also radar, forecast models, and sluices, pump stations and dams.
Analysing and exploiting data better
Once the data has been merged, it is possible to see how ICT applications can help analyse all the information in order to improve forecasts relating to drought, floods, and water quality. By improving the analysis and exploitation of the large amounts of available data, Digital Delta will provide openings for the formulation of responses to the ever more challenging problems of floods and water shortages.
Encouraging research and new solutions
The parties involved hope to use Digital Delta to encourage research into water management and to boost employment in this sector. The project will make data publicly available and legible, so that all sorts of relevant organisations involved in water management can come up with new solutions and conduct studies faster and cheaper. That applies not only to water authorities and Rijkswaterstaat, but also to water experts and researchers. Furthermore, Dutch researchers and entrepreneurs can also use Digital Delta in other parts of the world to protect people from water.
Digital Delta will initially focus on water projects in the region covered by the Delfland water authority and Rijkswaterstaat. If the trial is successful, the option is open of optimising the way information is shared within the water sector at the national level.
Press Release, June 27, 2013