Introduction

Leicester City Council is working in partnership with POWER project promote awareness of extreme weather events and associated flooding by providing information and practical guidance. The aim is to increase awareness of flood from multiple sources and provide practical guidance that residents, businesses and communities can implement to reduce their flood risk.

 

Through the Leicester Water Community, users will be able to participate in discussions, engage with material provided and contribute their opinions and suggestions.

 

 


Social, technological and political innovation combined in a coherent strategy is often more effective at offering solutions to environmental issues than more established, traditional policy mechanisms. In recent years, important environmental challenges have been addressed by more socially-conscious approaches. What is described as social innovation can provide a vital impetus to the successful implementation of environmental policy. There have been significant advances at a European level in issues such as energy, the reduction of CO2 and sustainable public transport. This has been achieved through increasing awareness of the problem, providing platforms through which policy is conducted effectively indicating the most appropriate means of addressing the issues in question and by supplying the instruments and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) necessary to guarantee political continuity and policy completion.

POWER is a user-driven H2020-CAPS2020 action and an EIP Water Action Group related project pioneering the DSP approach to share knowledge and experience on water scarcity, security, quality and water consumption-related issues in different EU local authorities, thus creating an important tool for EU water policy.

POWER will 

  1. increase the transnational municipal network effect by facilitating unrestricted communication and community involvement and by creating collective intelligence on ways of addressing urban climate change mitigation and adaptation, targeting water related concerns; 
  1. influence related policy planning and decisionsand expand related socially innovative behaviour. 
  1. Develop a Digital Social Platform (DSP) that will enable residents, stakeholders, and authorities to communicate about water related issues and share best practices.

Demonstrator Cities and the Water Related Issues:

The POWER four water issues (water consumption reduction, water quality, extreme weather events, variables related to water conservation) will be addressed by developing a TRL 7 common DSP system prototype to be demonstrated in Milton Keynes, Sabadell, Leicester, and Jerusalem each city addressing one priority issue. Though each city will lead the approach for its specific priority challenge, the common pier DSP enables an integrated approach, which will enhance the potential for comparison and benchmark of all cities involved. Other cities will contribute their knowledge and experience to the four key issues.

The 4 municipalities involved as Key Demonstration Cities are already active in water related issues. Extensive data is therefore available on each of these cities; common data is used to calculate the City Blueprint as is data addressing specific local city issues. Progressively, City Blueprints for approximately 100 cities will be available (approximately 3 to 4 cities in each Member State), which will share their data challenges and best practices, with the aim to contribute to a European Urban Agenda 2050. Currently 38 cities have been assessed for their City Blueprint in 23 different countries, mainly in Europe. It is realistic to include another 70 to 80 cities before the end of the Project.

Based on the regional patterns that can already be distinguished from the City Blueprint activities, examples of local communities in some of the cities will be chosen that are taking action to address a specific water or climate change related issue in their city. A more in-depth study of the governance structures and the governance gaps will be carried out. Local initiatives to bridge these gaps can then be explored and used as examples for other cities in that region.


The Digital Social Platform:

The POWER Digital Social Platform aims at sharing progress, knowledge, opinions and best practices in an open public consultation mode and will serve as a support tool for driving sustainable behaviour and extending a raised collective awareness on the environment and the consequences of our actions. Cities will share their City Blueprints and their real time data via the DSP. This will be predominantly at the professional office level, with detailed input. Such information will be summarised and shared with the general public.

The POWER DSP will bring together EU leading multi-disciplinary scientists, industrials, policy makers and general public to think and act collectively, to engage in public dialogues, to communicate new ideas and solutions in a user-driven platform by using open source frameworks.

The POWER approach therefore combines the experience of the lead cities with an important number of follower Cities. These followers include the members of EIP Water Action Group City Blueprints, members of NetwercH2O, and the cities, which have concluded their CITY BLUEPRINTS. The results will be then be transferred to the following partners dealing with the same and other issues related to the POWER concept. These partners will be involved once the DSP is operating successfully.

POWER DSP will be a decision-support environment able to:

  • Quantify impacts over the long term.
  • Include the most relevant viewpoints.
  • Incorporate expert knowledge but engage non-technical decision-makers.
  • Reach defendable decisions through a repeatable, audible and transparent process.
  • be implemented andpopulated with best practices related to the four key issues;
  • bring together EU leading multi-disciplinary scientists, industrials, stakeholders,to think and act collectively, to engage in public dialogues, to communicate new ideas and solutions in a user-driven platform by using open source frameworks; 
  • provide real time data sharedin an innovative way and regularly updated to maintain people’s interest; 
  • use gamification to help people compare.

POWER platform will enable the integration of mobile applications that relate user behaviour and feedback with context dashboard of indicators according to physical location, allowing the DSP to drive users through a path of incremental commitments towards a pool of defined sustainability goals. It will be more than just dashboards and indicators. We will take data from the case study cities and promote benchmark patterns and optimal profiles for sustainable behaviours. 


Water Issues & Pilot Cities

Milton Keynes – Reduction of water consumption

Water scarcity is constraining new developments taking place in Milton Keynes. Action therefore needs to be taken to reduce overall consumption to allow further development.

Water scarcity has the potential to constrain new developments taking place in Milton Keynes. Action therefore needs to be taken to reduce overall consumption to allow further development. The POWER DSP model will address this by sharing and exchanging knowledge with citizens and schools. Milton Keynes is a leading UK City in terms of data and data provision. The MK Smart Initiative is an example of this and feedback from MK Smart will be shared with the POWER DSP.

The main goal for the City of Milton Keynes, in the POWER project, is to promote water conservation behaviour and achieve quantifiable water savings using social awareness incentives. The POWER DSP will allow citizens to monitor water usage online, enhancing social gamification mechanisms and increasing individual and collective awareness. By connecting city inhabitants through a network, they will be able to see good and bad practices of others and exchange advice on how to improve consumption.

 

Sabadell – Water quality

In the city of Sabadell water is supplied in two qualities: drinking water and water for non-drinking purposes. The goal is to provide consumer information to encourage better management of resources and a reduction in the consumption of drinking water to be replaced by non-potable water.

In the city of Sabadell water is supplied in two qualities: drinking water and water for non-drinking purposes. In all cases the water has a quality according to established legal requirements. CASSA is implementing an information system that enables real-time information about the quality and conditions of service throughout their distribution networks. This will allow users to take appropriate decisions, such as going to alternative points of supply in the case of irrigation tank trucks and street cleaning. The POWER DSP will provide consumer information to encourage better management of resources and a reduction in the consumption of drinking water to be replaced by non-potable water.

The main goal of the city of Sabadell is to promote improved water quality by the active involvement of citizens. The POWER DSP will allow citizens to monitor the water quality online enhancing social gamification mechanisms and increasing individual and collective awareness. By connecting city inhabitants through a network, they will be able to identify different levels of water quality and openly judge and voice their opinions concerning the resource.

 

Leicester – Leicester has a surface water flood risk

City of Leicester has developed GIS mapping and river level gauge data to try and identify potential flood risk. Leicester will then take further action to reduce the risk of surface water flooding, through public engagement activities via the DSP.

Leicester is in the top 10 cities in the UK at highest surface water flood risk. It has developed GIS mapping and integrated live river level gauge data to identify potential flood risk. Leicester is currently engaging with householders, businesses and communities about surface water flooding. However, given that surface water flooding is less well known and not directly associated with rivers and watercourses, some members of the public do not see it as a problem. The POWER DSP aims to increase awareness of flood from multiple sources and provide practical guidance that residents, businesses and communities can implement to reduce their flood risk. Leicester will then take further actions to reduce the risk of surface water flooding, through public engagement activities via the POWER DSP.

The main goal of the POWER project in Leicester is to promote awareness of extreme weather events and associated flooding by providing information and practical guidance in addition to real time river water levels and predictive warnings. Through the POWER DSP users will be able to assess their potential risk of flooding through online social gamification mechanisms, increasing individual and collective awareness. By connecting city inhabitants through a network, they will be able to observe different flood risks.

 

Jerusalem – Variables related to water conservation

Limited water supplies and high water tariffs are at the centre of Hagihon’s strategy to diminish water loss and to ensure the quality of potable water.

Limited water supplies and high water tariffs are at the centre of Hagihon‘s strategy to diminish water loss and to ensure the quality of potable water. Hagihon has accumulated substantial experience in the implementation of Non-Revenue Water (NRW) reducing technologies and operational methodologies – achieving NRW of about 6% in most of its network. The POWER DSP will enable Hagihon to share NRW reduction and water quality data with other utilities and consumers and assist in the ongoing process of maintaining consumer awareness regarding water waste and water quality.

The main goal for the city of Jerusalem is to promote water conservation behaviours, achieve quantifiable water savings and improved awareness regarding water quality by sharing data with other water utilities. The objective is to encourage a rational use of water, and encourage the implementation of NRW reduction and water quality monitoring technologies and methodologies.

The POWER DSP will provide a specific dashboard for city administrations/water utility management/other utilities/users providing insights into the processes of collective awareness-raising within the city aiming to identify specific segments to provide more appropriate and targeted incentives.

These four pilot cities will be supported by other cities from EIP Water – City Blueprints and NetwercH2O, to create a larger network addressing each of the four areas. All cities will provide a City Blueprint to highlight water related issues in their area and to compare their “blueprint” with that of other cities.

 

Project Partners

Authorities

 

Leicester City Council is a unitary authority and was Britain’s First Environment City. It has a strong track record in developing and implementing strategies aimed at improving the environment and wellbeing of the city, whilst reducing the risk of environmental impacts from our activities. The City Council has a statutory duty to develop, maintain, implement and monitor a local strategy for managing flood risk. This includes the need to share data and collaborate closely with partner agencies with likewise responsibilities. The City Council is also the local planning authority with responsibility for ensuring developments do not adversely impact on flood risk, and wherever possible seek to contribute to reducing flood risk.

 

 

Hagihon Company, the Jerusalem Region Municipal Water & Wastewater Utility, provides advanced 24/7 water and wastewater services to the about 1 million residents (about 15% of Israel’s total population) of the City of Jerusalem, the Town of Mevasert Yerushalaim and the Town of Abu Gosh. Hagihon is Israel’s largest, most experienced and advanced municipal area water & wastewater services utility, operating and maintaining a 1,300 kmwater supply network, a 1000 km sewage network, a 500 km storm drainage network a 30 km treated effluent irrigation network, and 3 Wastewater Treatment Plants. Hagihon provides guidance to Urban Water Managers, from Israeli and foreign Water Companies.

 

 

City of Milton Keynes is one of the leading cities in energy and climate protection in the UK. It has an enviable record in implementing low-energy housing and industrial developments and addressing transport and waste issues. Milton Keynes Council is actively seeking ways to reduce water consumption in the municipal and community buildings, the housing stock, commerce and business sectors. The Council has a track record of successful European and British projects, is an active member of Energy Cities and a signatory to the Covenant of Mayors. The Council has a reputation for implementing innovative low carbon technologies and projects and is often chosen as a test-bed for pilot schemes.

 

 

CASSA – Companyia d’Aigües de Sabadell is the representative of the Catalonian city of Sabadell, with over 50 years of extensive experience in the field of water supply, energy and environmental services. Companyia d’Aigües de Sabadell, S.A is part of the CASSA Group which currently supplies water to over 40 municipalities (with an area of distribution of over 700 km2). CASSA also manages several wastewater treatment plants, including two of the ten largest in Catalonia, and seawater desalination plants. CASSA provides services to around 800,000 inhabitants. Sabadell WWTP works with an MBR process (one of the biggest in Europe) which obtains a tertiary quality water to use for irrigation, cleaning streets, flushing toilets and other applications. CASSA operates a water network of 25 km to supply the non-drinkable water in the city of Sabadell.

 

Academic

De Montfort University is a leading research-orientated University in the UK. The University has a long history of working in partnership with commercial organisations and other Universities, in the UK, Europe, Russia and Asia. The Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD) at DMU is a multi-disciplinary research institute with expertise in “smart cities”, as well as building physics, building energy modelling, ICT, electrical and electronic engineering, social science, energy policy and public engagement. The Water Software Systems (WSS) is a multidisciplinary research group in the university and provides consultancy and research services to organisations in the area of water distribution systems and wastewater treatment and reuse.

 

 

Utrecht University is one of Europe’s leading research universities, recognised internationally for its high quality and innovative approach to both research and teaching. Founded in 1636, the University has evolved into a leading modern research university with a growing international reputation. The Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development is one of the most important research units on sustainability research. The Copernicus Institute investigates and develops processes and opportunities for innovative change towards sustainability. The institute thus seeks to contribute to the development of knowledge and techniques as well as methods and instruments in the field of sustainable development, taking note of related social debates and policy processes. One of the key focus areas is water management & water governance.

 

 

KWR Watercycle Research Institute is the Dutch research institute for the drinking water sector. Unique in the world, this collaboration of the Dutch water supply companies has resulted in a powerful knowledge base and an extensive collective memory (> 60 years) for the drinking water sector. KWR develops and unlocks relevant knowledge about the small water cycle: from water systems to water technology and (clean) water quality. Our objective is to provide the water sector with the means to identify and effectively meet the challenges of our time: from climate change to the increasing amount of contaminants, and the growing pressure to use space intensively and for multiple purposes.

 

 

EIPCM – European Institute for Participatory Media is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, research and development of participatory platforms, knowledge tools and next-generation media ecosystems. Their research aims at enabling organizations, industry and society at large to take advantage of new participatory forms of content and media creation, delivery and utilization based on real-life needs of European citizens, public organizations and industry. EIPCM is highly experienced in developing participatory platforms and investigating collective awareness mechanisms. Its research displays a strong focus on user-centred design and evaluation of socio-technical systems as well as on integrating state-of-the-art knowledge visualisation with social media and mobile computing.

 

 

Climate Alliance of European Cities with over 1,700 member municipalities spread across 26 European countries is the largest European local government network dedicated to climate action and the only one to set tangible targets: each member city, town and district has committed itself to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent every 5 years. Recognising the impact our lifestyles can have on the world’s most vulnerable people and places, Climate Alliance pairs local action with global responsibility. The network fosters cooperation with indigenous people, runs awareness raising campaigns and develops tools for climate action planning. It provides wide opportunity for participation and exchange while representing member’s interests at the national, European and international levels.

 

Organisations

Baseform makes advanced software for networked water infrastructure. The Baseform system currently includes solutions for water losses, demand and energy management, short- and long-term infrastructure planning, system and asset reliability, data quality, hydraulics and water quality, operations and monitoring. The modular, building-block software design breaks away from the constraints of traditional solutions and legacy software, by mixing and matching the capabilities specifically needed for each water engineering or management process. It creates new capabilities through joining together what has conventionally been available only in segregated software worlds, such as GIS, SCADA, financial analysis, and maintenance software or hydraulics applications.

 

CUBIT – Consortium Ubiquitous Technologies is an Italian research and innovation consortium founded in 2007 by the University of Pisa. CUBIT delivers leading-edge electronics and wireless communication products, implements R&I activities in the ICT field paying special attention to the development of Wireless communication systems applied to Internet of Things. Actually, the Wireless Innovation Lab of CUBIT represents an IoT Centre of expertise for the Tuscany region. It is the only Italian laboratory qualified for compliance certification of the RFID-based components and devices.

 

Fundació CTM Centre Tecnològic is a non-profit making private technological centre. CTM aims to efficiently contribute to improving the competitiveness and the technological development of companies by providing specialised services and carrying out R&D and Innovation projects. Its activities cover sectors such as Environmental Technology, Materials Technology and Energy. CTMs Environmental Technology Department (ATA) is specialises in water and wastewater treatment, water quality, water reuse, waste management and product recovery, covering all strategies defined in EU waste directive, and contaminated soils and groundwater.