The complex interactions between human society and water resource systems, as well as the rapidly increasing intensity in the use of water resources, forces many countries to face the task of achieving higher levels in water management planning and in the control of hydrological processes. A comprehensive and detailed analysis of the availability of water resources in terms of quantity and quality, and of water demand in their variability in space and time, is indispensable. Water resource management requires the integration of many complex physical processes, as well as the interaction of many stakeholders, to ensure the sustainable use of surface and groundwater resources. This planning is intrinsically multidisciplinary, including hydrologic, hydro-geologic, ecological, economic, agricultural and social disciplines.
The main legal instrument to face this situation at the European level is the Water Framework Directive [WFD], that has motivated more recent initiatives, like the European Innovation Partnership Water [EIP Water].
Despite of the impact of water management on the quality of life of citizens and the great potential market for smart ICT solutions in this area, there is a lack of smart water management systems deployed in Europe and also a deficient role of European companies in developing such solutions. The notable advances in technical developments for water management, and in particular the recent investment of European Authorities in research programmes like FP6 and FP7, have not been translated into a general deployment of these solutions in real environments yet. Furthermore, the low number of deployed systems uses to focus on isolated and not coordinated systems to manage specific functions or elements like reservoir dams, flood prevention dams, irrigation infrastructures, hydro power plants, pumping stations for water supply, water of quality monitoring stations. etc.…).
In this context, SAID project will contribute to expand the use of the most recent technical solutions with an innovation & demonstration work plan based on the idea of a platform for integrated management of water infrastructures. SAID project will address the development, implementation, validation and integration of the most innovative Decision Support Systems (MDSS) as the basis for smart water management systems to allow an integrated management of complex basins, reducing the high investment required with current state of the technology. SAID will develop and validate innovative DSSs and methodologies to offer advantages to all stakeholders, and particularly to water authorities.
The general objective of SAID project is increasing the knowledge and confidence of all stakeholders (water authorities and managers, governments and EU authorities, companies and society) in existing pre-commercial technology to build operational smart water management systems in Europe. In that way, SAID project will contribute to the implementation of the European directives and policies and to increase the market opportunities for specialist SMEs in monitoring, communications and software technologies for DSSs.
This general objective will be achieved by facing more specific objectives:
- Implementation and validation of the three complex DSSs in the same river basin: flood management, quality of water and energy management (consumption to supply water and energy production in hydro power plants); and the definition of methodological aspects to the joint use of multiple DSSs in the same basin.
- Definite adaptation methods to obtain versions of DSSs for specific basins, avoiding the construction of new DSSs from scratch each time.
- Improve the production of cost-effective MDSSs for water management through defining and validating a user-friendly platform for the integration of DSSs from the software technology.
- Promote commercial exploitation of advance monitoring and communication devices.
All these objectives are aligned with the first initial action identified in the priority 4.7 Decision Support systems and Monitoring of the Strategic Implementation Plan of the EIP -WATER. The project will contribute to improve the quality of life of citizens regarding the use and effect of water, providing validated tools to reduce flood risks and flood effects, to enhance the quality of water for humans and for irrigation and to reduce the cost of energy in water related processes. The implementation and validation of the proposals in SAID will be done in a complex river basin in the south of Spain, which presents many of the problems in other European basins.