Page 17 - European Energy Innovation - Spring 2017 publication
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Spring 2017 European Energy Innovation  17


The EU Roadmap to Smart Water

Management: The WIDEST project

and the ICT4WATER cluster

By Dr Lydia S. Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia1, Gabriel Anzaldi2, Sander Smit3 and Aude Glenisson4

Water and energy are intimately linked and this                       Digital Single Market :
                     relationship is often referred to as the Water-  market/en/news/emerging-topics-and-technology-roadmap-
                     Energy Nexus. The understanding of this          ict-water-management-august-2016.  The document presents
                     Nexus has provided the evidence that saving      the main gaps and challenges that need to be addressed in
water saves energy. This encompasses Water Management                 the future development of the ICT for water management
at two levels: at water utility/operator and at household level,      sector: Big Data, Data Infrastructures, Links with Smart Cities,
where about 18-30 per cent of final energy across Europe is           Water-food-energy nexus, Standardization. The report
attributed to home use.                                               proposes a technology roadmap, which suggests the creation
                                                                      of a borderless Digital Single Market for water services to
The success of the application of smart technologies in the           foster the transition of ICT technologies in water sector from
water domain coined the concept Smart Water Management,               pilot scale to wide market uptake.
which currently is the most efficient way to reduce energy
consumption in water supply and distribution networks at              Currently the ICT4WATER cluster is contributing to the
both utility/operator and household level. Consequently               DG Connect “Action Plan to Digital Single Market” (to be
the Smart Water sector is thriving, with an expected global           delivered at the end of 2017), which will take as reference
growth from USD 8.46 Billion in 2016 to USD 20.10 Billion by          the previous work and forum of actors/experts related to
2021, at a CAGR of 18.9%.                                             the ICT4Water cluster, where synergies were very fruitful
                                                                      for project development and knowledge sharing/progress
For the past five years the European Commission (chiefly DG           between stakeholders and experts. It will identify the gaps
Connect) has been continuously funding several Research               and propose an action plan of concrete actions relating to
and Innovation Projects, related to this domain. Prompted by          R&D and possible regulation in the area of ICT and water;
DG Connect, they have formed a cluster for ICT and Water              it will enhance emerging water issues (current and future
Management: the ICT4WATER cluster (                 trends) in terms of data management, interoperability and
Currently 22 EU funded projects have joined this cluster,             standardization including the investigation of the ICT GHG
bringing together over 200 institutions and businesses.               Footprint; it will define classification/justification of problems
                                                                      and solutions; it will identify cost/benefit estimates of
The ICT4WATER cluster is a hub for innovative activities              problems and solutions and synergies between the proposed
related to ICT for Water Management, organizing/                      solutions and with other related sectors (e.g. circular
participating at major exhibitions and scientific events and          economy, transport, energy and smart cities). l
disseminating results through major channels. For the past
two years it has been supported by the WIDEST (www.widest.              Contact details:
eu) project, a Coordination and Support Action promoting an             1 Centre for Water Systems, University of Exeter, UK
interconnected ICT for the Water Community.                             (
                                                                        2 EURECAT, Spain (
Moreover, on the request of the EC, Marcin Stachura                     3 BM-Change (
( has drafted, based on the                  4 European Commission, DG CONNECT: 
inputs the cluster projects and relevant reports, the Roadmap 
2016 on Emerging topics-and technology in ICT and Water
management which is closed linked to the policy on EC
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