On 18 November, around 200 stakeholders of the water management sector gathered in Paris and online to attend the conference “Digitalising urban waters“, to learn about the work done within digital-water.city (DWC) for almost four years. The conference was organised following DWC’s last General Assembly that took place on 16 and 17 November.
Nicolas Caradot, coordinator of the project, and Violeta Kuzmickaite, project advisor, started off the event highlighting that DWC not only had developed a series of digital solutions but also assessed their potential in improving city water management. They emphasised that, today, several solutions have an important upscaling potential.
After this introduction, the core part of the conference started with presentations on the lessons learnt from the five partnering cities in the project: Milan with Marco Bernardi (from Gruppo CAP), Paris with Sofia Housni (from SIAAP), Berlin with Regina Gnirss (from Berliner WasserBetriebe), Sofia with Valentina Dimova (from Sofiyska Voda), and Copenhagen with Barbara Greenhill (from BIOFOS). The collaborative side of the project was pointed out by Regina Gnirss (from BWB), who said that this enabled the partners to mutually reinforce each other.
The conference closed with transversal sessions that placed the project into broader perspectives:
- Guillaume Bour (from Sintef) highlighted the importance of keeping in mind the security aspect of digital devices. DWC incorporated activities to make solution developers aware of risks, help them identify, reduce, monitor and deal with them.
- Ulf Stein (from Ecologic) brought in the policy overview saying that research achievements are key enablers to support the implementation of EU. Yet, he pointed out that today many actors are still unaware or have a poor understanding of relevant policies, which is an issue that needs to be addressed.
- The external advisory board, a group of external stakeholders that followed the development of the project, discussed the potential of the solutions developed to address future challenges. Some of the closing notes reminded that the digitalisation of the water sector remains a highly complex issue and that digital innovation develops at the speed of trust.
Both Rebekah Eggers (from IBM, and member of the advisory board) and Francois-Marie Didier (President of SIAAP’s board) brought forward the fact that thanks to this project, valuable partnerships had been created and a strong community was built. They also mentioned that the project incorporated various stakeholder perspectives from the early stages of the solution development, both to build trust and to guarantee that the solutions were suited to needs.
Watch the video of the conference
The full recording of the conference is available below.
Follow the minutes of the programme below to watch a specific session of the conference.
00:00 – 00:15 Welcome and introduction
00:15 – 00:45 – Milan: Using sensors and models to foster water reuse: Is it the future?
00:46 – 1:03 – Paris: Can digital solutions help us to swim in our urban rivers?
1:04 – 1:30 – Berlin: From drinking water wells to sewer operations: can we be more sustainable?
1:31 – 1:51 – Sofia: Can low-cost sensors enhance the management of wastewater networks?
1:52 – 2:12 – Copenhagen: Real-time control of sewer network and treatment plant: dream or reality?
Transversal sessions and perspectives
2:12 – 2:24 – Security analysis of IoT devices
2:24 – 2:39 – Policy contribution
2:39 – 3:00 – What happens next
3:00 – 3:09 Conclusion