As the project enters its final months, what have our DWC partners in Milan been up to?

Our partners in Milan have been busy developing digital solutions for safe water reuse in agricultural irrigation. One of their key developments is the early warning system (EWS) for water reuse, which has been tested at multiple sites. A risk analysis carried out at the treatment plant of Peschiera Borromeo showed that relocating high-quality data model that feeds the EWS.

The WebGIS solution now includes information and graphic details from the Peschiera Borromeo treatment plant on water quality and availability for reuse. One of the main issues with this web is the availability of information, such as maps, identification of agricultural areas, etc. Partners and stakeholders have contributed by sharing their data with the developers.

During the irrigation season of 2021, two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) flights took place to map water and nutrient stress in agricultural fields in Peschiera Borromeo’s plant, near Linate Airport. A specific authorisation from the Italian Civil Aviation Authority was needed to fly the UAV in this area.

A first version of the matchmaking tool was tested to analyse irrigation schemes for water reuse. Information such as weather data or crop characteristics was also included in the tool. A potential challenge for this tool is the level of digitalisation of end users like farmers. However, our partners believe farmers could be supported by local or national farmers’ associations or by companies that have expertise in integrating data into this kind of architecture.

Finally, a beta version of the serious game has been developed with data from the peri-urban area of Peschiera Borromeo, both in Italian and English, and feedback from stakeholders is being gathered. Again, one of the main challenges is the need for reliable data to build regional scenarios taking into account site-specific conditions.

The Milan partners have learnt an important lesson: integrating data from different digital tools requires a big effort in terms of IT infrastructures and team skills. Therefore, it is important to choose the right digital system for managing various types of data. 

What plans does the group in Milan have until the end of the project? They are looking forward to obtaining the final versions of the solutions and implementing them in their wastewater treatment plants. They would also like to show the web apps to local stakeholders to gather feedback and improve the solutions.

We wish them the best of luck!

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