Demonstration of the HydroNET Water Control Room | | Rijksdienst

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Demonstration of the HydroNET Water Control Room

South Africa is a country with a lot of water stress. The expectation is that water demand will exceed water supply between 2025 and 2030. With the present high level of water resource utilisation in South-Africa, water use efficiency must be substantially improved. Efficiency in water use has not developed to the same level of sophistication as resource development and management. There is a need for real time operational water resources management frameworks in stressed or over allocated rivers. The National Water Resources Strategy further states that the traditional water management needs to be broadened to include new technology. Besides inefficient water use South Africa is facing another water challenge: losses as a result of leaks. Non-revenue water – all the water lost through physical leakage or other commercial losses – is currently estimated to be as high as 37%. The need for monitoring and measuring the water supplied by water service authorities is regarded as crucial to gain a better understanding of the nature and extent of the challenges faced by the water sector. An increasingly important source of income for South Africa is the wine market. The main threats to vine health in the Cape include several pests and diseases that are also familiar in many other winegrowing regions in the world. These pests and diseases can decrease yields and shorten the productive lifespan of the vineyards. South African grape growers have a need to maintain and control production, both in terms of volume and quality. This can be done with the help of chemical sprays, but is preferably reduced to a minimum due to environmental and financial costs. An application that can monitor the factors that influence the development and spread of these pests and diseases will surely add to this result for the benefit of grape growers, large and small alike. The first step towards a sustainable solution for water-related problems is a clear insight in the amount of rainfall. During a meeting with the South African Weather Service (SAWS) in June 2013 it became clear that there are many radars and rain gauges available to develop a high quality rainfall product. SAWS has the knowledge to develop a radar-based rainfall composite. However, because of a lack of human resources, this information is not yet available for catchment management agencies, water utilities and the wine industry. As a result ICMA currently uses only satellite-based rainfall information for their drought and flood forecasting. By using radar-based rainfall information outputs of their models and forecast can be clearly improved. Unfortunately South Africa does not have enough funding to cover the required research and development. Therefore, there is a clear need for smart ICT solutions which are affordable for them and which will help them to make better use of their water resources. Many data sources, data streams, tools and models of hydrologic processes exist in South-Africa, however they are often not shared and only available to a limited number of stakeholders. This hampers finding integrated solutions to solve the South African water challenges.

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