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IBM Teams Up with Delft University for Research on Flood Prevention

IBM and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) have pooled resources to conduct research to find smarter ways of applying technology and analytics, to prevent floods and conserve water in complex water systems.

The outcome of this research would affect complex water systems, such as the Dutch water system, China’s South-North Water Transfer Project, the Sacramento River Delta in the U.S. and also the Alps reservoir management.

The 2200 Kilometer long Dutch water system, carrying around 120 trillion liters of water, is a widespread network of rivers, pumping stations, canals, reservoirs, dams, pumps, and locks. Researchers hope to recognize trends and patterns that would ultimately lead to improving water management and water quality while minimizing floods, by using analytics on the huge collection of data available across the system. By linking and evaluating distinct and contrasting information streams, a lot of knowledge can be gleaned by the water managers. Data from rivers and dikes collected by sensors are connected to meteorological records, and with the help of superior algorithms and software, phenomena such as excessive rainfall could be calculated and predicted. This would help bodies such as water boards, Directorate General for Public Works, municipalities and the Netherlands’ Water Management to use the information effectively, and help in deciding the future course of action.

According to Djeevan Schiferli, IBM (Centre of Excellence for Water Management in Netherlands), the company was hoping that the research results would help in executing the Delta Commission’s proposals, made after scrutinizing varied issues, such as nature restoration or protection in the South-West Delta region, high water in rivers and fresh water in IJsselmeer lake.

IBM’s alliance with TU Delft would aid or facilitate IBM’s escalating assortment of sophisticated water management solutions. It is also associated with the Beacon Institute on its River and Estuary Observation Network having built the infrastructure for a complex water monitoring system over the Hudson River, and also with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, providing superior membrane technology for desalination and water filtration processes. IBM is also a part of the Flood Control 2015 program in the Netherlands, partnering both private and public bodies in the creation of the next generation operational flood management systems, which would help in improving forecast and decision support processes, and permit monitoring on a real-time basis.


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