The digital water drop


Intelligent management of water reservoirs and their catchment areas

Image of a dam © Stephan Wein, Christian Fimmers  

To ensure a sufficient and high-quality water supply for both the population and the diverse land uses in the long term and on a sustainable basis, an integrated and overarching view of dams and their catchment areas is necessary. This is the only way to ensure holistic control and optimization of highly complex and spatially distributed water supply systems on the one hand, and intelligent management of the catchment areas on the other.
In this context, climate change in particular poses completely new challenges to water supply and the closely related catchment areas of drinking water reservoirs, which must be met with new concepts. A sectoral approach to either water management or catchment areas alone falls short in view of the manifold interdependencies, the multi-layered direct and indirect consequences of climate change and the expected adaptations in sectors such as forestry/agriculture. So far, however, there is a lack of a holistic monitoring and forecasting system for joint water, forestry and agriculture. Innovative approaches in the context of digitalization, networking and automation such as digital twins, sensor technology, artificial intelligence and robotics are bringing smart water supply and the associated intelligent management of catchment areas within reach.
The goal of the RWTH-internal ERS project is to network various data sources with each other and thus enable overarching monitoring and create the basis for subsequent optimization.