Possibilities and challenges of the information transition in the water sector

Future proof opportunities at the ‘Waterinfodag’

At the ‘Waterinfodag’, which took place end of March 2019, I presented a theme session on innovative processing of water data with R and Python. The ‘Waterinfodag’ is a congress, fair, and networking day for employees of water boards, provinces, municipalities, companies and Rijkswaterstaat to learn (more) on the possibilities and challenges of the information transition in the water sector.

By several examples of innovative processing by various KWR colleagues I told the audience about the advantages of the programming languages R and Python. These examples concerned a broad range of subjects, from predicting optimal sand filter rinsing to visualising combinations of bioassay results with non-target screening data. There was a lot of interest. People that already use R and Python attended, but also people that wanted to start were curious.

From data management to real-time water management

There was an impressive number of speakers. There was a choice between fifty-eight theme sessions. These sessions were about subjects as data management, information streams, cybersecurity and ‘smart’ water management. Often these were coupled to interesting use cases. Aside from that, there were about sixty stands with start-ups, companies, consultants, institutes and water boards.

Opportunities for the water sector

Given the interest and examples of applications on the ‘Waterinfodag’, it is clear that information processing and management of information is a very important subject, given the current information transition. For me, it was interesting to see that in this respect there is no difference between water boards and drinking water companies, except perhaps for their concrete application areas. Developments in this area are in full swing and offer the water sector as a whole opportunities to become future proof. This coincides well with KWR’s ‘Hydroinformatics’ vision, that is currently being written down. Additional insights from this day are just in time to make it into this vision.