Smart Water Control

Funding: This project is funded by the Klima- und Energiefonds in the "Smart Cities" program.


Project partner: G. Bernhardt's Söhne Ges.m.b.H.
Project team: Robert SITZENFREI, Michael MAIR, Carolina KINZEL
Project timeframe: 07/2017 – 06/2018



Short description:

In the exploratory project „Smart Water Control“, scientific fundamentals for the successful implementation of innovative and intelligent sensor and control networks in the field of urban water management (water supply, urban drainage and controlled discharge of stormwater) are elaborated.
With the smart monitoring of individual subsystems and the gathering of real-time sensor data, an optimal control process is sought to improve the urban water cycle with regard to efficiency optimization and conservation of resources.

The main idea of this research project is the consideration of a variety of parameters (e.g. soil moisture, water levels, temperature, pressure, energy demand, and flow and discharge rates), through digital data measurement systems and transmission in high temporal resolutions (e.g. in minute intervals). Such data allows for significant improvements in the operation of existing systems but also in planning future implementations. On the one hand, these data could be prepared for creating public awareness. On the other hand, they are important for the modelling of the complex water infrastructure and can be used as input data for comprehensive hydraulic and hydrodynamic simulations. Such simulations aim for predicting the system’s behavior and validating the actual measurement data, which build the basis for an optimal control and failure detection of the entire water infrastructure in real time.
In summary, these systems consist of three main components, in particular: measurement, model and control.

The proposed approach affect environment and the entire society by the following factors:

  • ecological (resource-conservation, efficiency improvement)
  • economical (e.g. load control, novel pricing system for the customer)
  • social (creating awareness, multi-functional usage of water infrastructure as, for example, recreational areas)
  • technical (e.g. failure detection, improved pipe cleaning, supply and disposal reliability, improved flooding protection)
  • future oriented (e.g. phasing future challenges like climate change, population increase, changes of land use)

However, for a successful realization there is a need for a comprehensive research, also concerning legal frameworks and the identification of social interests and politico-security barriers. Besides the creation of a “Smart Water Community” within Austria, with this project also potential test regions are identified and the realization of sensor and control networks, including all consumers of these regions, will be performed.


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