Water4Cities focuses on the next research objectives:
Research Objective 1 - To investigate new process and models for urban water cycle monitoring: The vision towards a real-time monitoring and decision support tool for urban water management requires a thorough analysis of the processes across the water lifecycle (surface water and groundwater supply, water reuse and recycling; waste water treatment, including recovery of resources; water and energy integration) in an effort to extract valuable data for post-analysis by relevant stakeholders and identify possible optimization opportunities.
Research Objective 2 - To design the necessary methodology for the analysis and optimization of urban water: This objective relates to the construction of a theoretical framework upon which the decision support system will be implemented. The research work under this objective will focus on the design and mathematical formulation of complex models and optimization problems depicting the interrelationships of various parameters in the calculation of key performance indicators for water use/pollution. Beyond, the evaluation of water-related parameters (e.g., water quality, water quantity), researchers will also work on the consideration of the energy use within the optimization problems to provide a holistic solution minimizing overall environmental impact (both from water and energy perspective).
Research Objective 3 - To research optimization capabilities in data transmission protocols to support real-time water lifecycle monitoring: The proposed platform will need to monitor and control qualitative and quantitative degradation of water and determine its status in real time. Therefore, the communication and transfer of sensor data to the analytics platform is critical for the performance and reliability of the proposed system. Special focus of the research objective relates to the energy harvesting of water flows to prolong the lifetime of wireless sensors.
Research Objective 4 - To design novel data analytics, data visualization algorithms and decision support tools for optimized urban water management: The main research objective towards that direction is – following the processes and models defined in objective 2 - the investigation of novel data analytics and data visualization algorithms supporting the water lifecycle monitoring and optimization services.
From a technical viewpoint, the project aims to reach the following technical objectives:
Technical Objective 1 - To build a robust, energy efficient monitoring infrastructure for the collection of real-time data across the water lifecycle: Water4Cities will implement a data collection framework supporting energy efficient, robust and reliable data communication to assist real-time monitoring of qualitative and quantitative water and energy parameters. Main consideration will also be put in the raw data transformation into a common ontology that would enable interoperability and further processing.
Technical Objective 2 - To deploy advanced data mining and data visualization tools for water management: On top of the data collection mechanism, data analytics and visualization algorithms designed under Research Objective 4 will be deployed to realize the water cycle monitoring.
Technical Objective 3 - To develop decision support services and applications, catered for water utilities and decision makers in the Water4Cities process chain: This technical objective relates with the implementation of the services (including data visualization) to be delivered to the water providers and relevant stakeholders (e.g., municipalities).
Technical Objective 4 - To test and validate the proposed ICT platform: Another major technical objective of the project is to provide a proof-of-concept test and validation of the proposed solutions in real use case scenarios provided by the project partners DEYASK and LUZ.