Digital transformations as part of the solution for wicked problems

Report from the ‘Waterinfodag’ 2022

We face great challenges like increasing temperatures, housing, flooding, and biodiversity loss. These are societal ‘wicked problems’, meaning problems that are difficult or impossible to solve because of their complex and interconnected nature. Piet-Hein Daverveldt, dijkgaaf and chairman of ‘het Waterschapshuis’, stressed the point during the keynote lecture at the start of the ‘waterinfodag’ that it is pivotal to keep up with the digital transformation to find solutions for these wicked problems.

The ‘waterinfodag’ is a yearly networking event filled with presentations and discussions on applying digital techniques within the water sector. It was held in ‘s-Hertogenbosch on 23 June 2022.

Techniques, applications and innovations

Two delegates represented KWR. Nienke Meekel gave a presentation on options for Text mining within the water sector to extract data and information. For some in the audience, this was a novelty. In a co-presentation with Gerard Stroomberg, director of RIWA-Rijn, Tessa Pronk highlighted the valorisation journey of a KWR-developed algorithm: the water quality index, from algorithm to useful instrument to assess the required purification effort of water.

The Waterinfodag was further filled with presentations and company stands on the venue, highlighting innovations and applications of new techniques in the water sector. The considered topics were ‘Smart Watermanagement’, ‘Data Science’, ‘Digital Twins’, ‘Innovative Information retrieval’, ‘Climate adaptation’, and ‘Valorisation’. During these sessions, there was room for discussion on the added value of digital tools to the water sector.