How Urban Storm- and Wastewater Management Prepares for Emerging Opportunities and Threats: Digital Transformation, Ubiquitous Sensing, New Data Sources, and Beyond - A Horizon Scan
2019-06-07T00:00:00Z (GMT) by
Ubiquitous sensing will create many opportunities and threats for urban water management, which are only poorly understood today. To identify the most relevant trends, we conducted a horizon scan regarding how ubiquitous sensing will shape the future of urban drainage and wastewater management. Our survey of the international urban water community received an active response from both the academics and the professionals from the water industry. The analysis of the responses demonstrates that emerging topics for urban water will often involve experts from different communities, including aquatic ecologists, urban water system engineers and managers, as well as information and communications technology professionals and computer scientists. Activities in topics that are identified as novel will either require (i) cross-disciplinary training, such as importing new developments from the IT sector, or (ii) research in new areas for urban water specialists, for example, to help solve open questions in aquatic ecology. These results are, therefore, a call for interdisciplinary research beyond our own discipline. They also demonstrate that the water management community is not yet prepared for the digital transformation, where we will experience a data demand, i.e. a “pull” of urban water data into external services. The results suggest that a lot remains to be done to harvest the upcoming opportunities. Horizon scanning should be repeated on a routine basis, under the umbrella of an experienced polling organization.