The Valencian engineering company Vielca Ingenieros is leading a multidisciplinary research project that aims to improve the management and planning of water resources in the south of Alicante and the Region of Murcia, an area particularly sensitive to the lack of water that year after year suffers the effects of severe droughts.

The project, one of the most ambitious in the field of water resource optimization, involves the acquisition of massive real-time data on meteorological phenomena of a given area, collected through social networks and field meters, and their subsequent processing to obtain useful results. Given the nature and scope of this research, technology and computational analysis combine their potential at the service of a study based on the intelligent management of water resources, in which the Internet of Things and Big Data play a decisive role.

Multidisciplinary consortium

The consortium selected to carry out the work is composed, in addition to Vielca, of the Murcia company Hidroconta, Centic (Technological Centre for Information and Communication Technologies of the Region of Murcia) and the Universities UPV (Valencia) and UCAM (Murcia). These five entities are involved in the research, which will start in autumn 2018 and run until 2021.

The Ministry of Science, Innovation and University has subsidized this project, which presents some innovations that make it unique. These include the provision of real-time data obtained through social networks. The consortium brings more than 30 years of experience in the design of devices and water treatment in the Mediterranean, as well as the latest technology to transform data into concrete conclusions, in very large areas and far from where physical meters currently exist. Data on rainfall, temperature, wind, humidity… and many other variables.

Replicable model

Although the project is initially developed in Murcia, Cartagena and Alicante, the initiative is perfectly exportable to other areas of the planet. As Vicente Candela, CEO of Vielca Ingenieros explains, “once we get the necessary system, software and hardware, and verify that everything works perfectly, it can be used anywhere.” In the short term, and once its usefulness and effectiveness have been tested, the idea is to offer it to Hydrographic Confederations, Universities, Technology Centers, irrigation communities and companies with interests in this area.

Innovative nature

The main objective is to develop a hardware and software infrastructure that enables the analysis of large amounts of data in real time in IoT (Internet of Things) environments in order to provide innovative solutions for water resource management in the short, medium and long term.

After completion of the project, both the public and private sectors will benefit from its outcome. While it is true that the scientific community is developing multiple applications within the field of IoT (Internet of Things), so far there are no analytical tools or models to combine information from physical and social sensors. Hence the completely innovative nature of this work, which brings together different areas of knowledge and technologies; analysis of large volumes of data using computational techniques, the Internet of Things (IoT), high-performance computing and computational linguistics. It is certainly the combination of all these areas that justifies the innovative nature of this initiative.

Funded by:

MINECO, Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO), Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI) y al Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER) Num Expediente: RTC 2017-6389-5.