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Observing Water-Related Events to Support Decision-Making

Observing Water-Related Events to Support Decision-Making

The water sector is facing rapid development towards the smart digitalisation of resources, much motivated and supported by the UN’s global initiative for the Sustainable Development Goal 6. In that context, the efforts to address the specific challenges related to water management data and priorities multiply globally. There are several “digital twin” systems dedicated to water, each of which focuses on the different aspects of the digitalisation of signals to support water management companies, as well as water “observatories”. These are usually meant as Geographical Information Systems that showcase the different aspects of water resources through time.

Within the scope of NAIADES, we propose a slightly different approach that integrates heterogeneous data sources to try and solve common research questions, as well as to support water management companies in their current problems. This solution is named NAIADES Global Water Observatory, now released in pilot 1 at, putting together: (i) real-time information from multilingual world news on water topics; (ii) data visualisation of water-related indicators through time, sourced from SDG6 and other UN data; and (iii) scientific knowledge from published biomedical research on water-related topics (e.g., water contamination).

Figure 1 - Screenshot of Pilot 1 of the NAIADES Water Observatory showcasing the feed of news tailored to the local priorities in water-related news monitoring

The main solution is the Water Observatory as a whole and the interaction between its views that extract insightful water-related information, configured to use case priorities and needs from the data integration of heterogeneous sources. This includes information from social media when the weather is favourable for floods and the historical information from news and published research on these weather-related events and how to make decisions better to solve them.

This interaction between news and social media is based on the ingestion of filtered news streams and on analytics on social media about weather-related events that can help decision-making and trigger alarms (see example here). This is complemented by data ingested from global and local indicators, showcasing the observation of water-related datasets linked to SDG 6 at global and country levels that can help us observe changes and trends (see example here). The NAIADES Water Observatory also considers the scientific research, letting the user explore the information provided by published science and the success stories that can be used in decision-making and water education at the local level (see example here). Finally, the NAIADES team is intensively working on adding the dimension of natural resources to the exploration scenarios of the Water Observatory, based on ingested weather data from the ECMWF (on humidity, temperature and rainfall) and other open data sources, with a sophisticated engine to explore the states of that data and short/medium term predictions on aspects of that data.