14 Mar 2016

New project ‘Water Smart Cities’ provides water utilities and municipalities with better tools for climate change adaptation

Intelligent software technologies to ensure optimal planning and management

Named ‘Water Smart Cities’, the project is a collaboration between DHI, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Krüger, Ramboll, the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) and the four largest water companies in Denmark: HOFOR, Aarhus Water, VCS Denmark and BIOFOS. 

The project aims to develop and test intelligent software technologies to ensure optimal planning when cities are challenged by heavy rains and flooding in the future. Thus, the project partners will focus on developing and producing fast and robust model concepts for real-time simulation and real-time control of drainage systems. Forecast models – of floods, overflows from sewage systems, impacts on recipients, as well as inflow and pollution to wastewater treatment plants – will be designed and tested during the project.

The ‘Water Smart Cities’ project is based on the current project ‘KlimaSpring’, which is carried out jointly by DHI, Aarhus Water, DTU Compute and DTU Environment. In ‘KlimaSpring’, basic software components for surrogate modelling and optimisation of the management of drainage systems are being developed.

Heavy rains cause sewers to overflow and may result in urban flooding. The development of a new state-of-the-art water technology will provide water companies and municipalities with new tools for more efficient planning and overall management of rain water – whether it comes from moderate or extreme rain events. 

‘Water Smart Cities’ will help ensure optimal planning when cities are hit by heavy rains and flooding. ©iStock / schlol

Therefore, using new computer technologies to obtain a smarter management of water – in order to avoid polluting the environment and damaging infrastructure – will be a focus of the future. The project name ‘Water Smart Cities’ reflects this smart management as well as the desire to handle climate challenges in the best possible way.

DHI’s part in the project will focus on model concepts and integrate MIKE Powered by DHI models and simple models (surrogate models), which are precise and fast enough for real-time calculations and optimisation. 

The results from both these projects will be incorporated into MIKE software and technologies, and simultaneously offered to our customers. DHI’s contributions are partly financed by  the Danish Agency of Science, Technology and Innovation under the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

Innovation Fund Denmark has granted DKK 12.1 million to the project. The total funds needed is expected to amount to DKK 28.3 million. The grant was awarded based on the need to solve a major societal problem. The result of the project is expected to lead to an increased foreign interest in Danish water technology.