World Water Day 2020

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Water and climate change are linked inextricably. Since KISTERS was founded nearly 60 years ago, the volume and variability of water, weather and environmental data collected has grown immensely… yet the majority of projects still don’t require KISTERS Big Data Solution. However, the integration of datasets and the automation of functions yield the most benefits as the water workforce incurs more responsibilities yet decreases in number.

While our global clients share common data workflow processes – from high efficiency data collection and management through processing and modeling to delivery of data products to decision-makers and the public – discover specific considerations and challenges each one addresses:


World map with links to KISTERS water projects featured on World Water Day 2020


  • Surrounding Seattle, Washington, counties in the Puget Sound watershed continue to see rapid job creation and population growth. Kitsap Sun reported that Snohomish County grew by 15% and Pierce County 12% between 2010 and 2019. Committed to maintaining quality of life for their communities, county leaders and public works are keeping water bodies clean and protecting ecosystems. Extensive tracking of continuous and discrete sampling data and biological assessments support distribution of quality analyses for science-based decisions and watershed health index reports to the public.

  • Outside central London, England the boroughs of Hillingdon and Croydon encounter similar intense rainfall and drainage issues that pose flooding risks to fast-growing residential communities and commercial office areas located near Heathrow and Gatwick airports, respectively. To increase climate resilience, the boroughs are collaborating with KISTERS to deploy Hyquest sensors and datasphere software to proactively resolve surface water problems. Weather forecasts identify the most impacted sites up to 3 days before storms, while alerts, web camera images, and dashboards efficiently monitor drainage systems and trash screens in real time.

  • In Linne, The Netherlands, a RWE hydroelectric complex closely regulates the water level of the Meuse River. To prioritize safe fish passage, the 14 MW capacity Kaplan turbines are switched off at low flow. The amount of water that flows through turbines when the water level is regulated by a few centimeters appears insignificantly low and often unused. However, controlled reduction of fluctuations in water level and flow via a mathematical algorithm developed by Deltares and KISTERS offer promising results -- about a 10% increase -- in the optimization of renewable energy production.

  • Situated in the West Balkans, the Drina River Basin is shared by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia. World Bank funded projects ensure sustainable transboundary water management and climate adaptation. To support successful regional collaboration, a shared data management platform now establishes consistent data collection, processing, and access among the stakeholders: Sava River water agency AVP Sava as well as the Serb Republic Hydrometeorological Institute RHMZRS in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Hydrometeorological Institute of Montenegro HMZCG, and the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia RHMSS. Web portal and reporting tools were implemented by specific agencies as needed.

  • In collaboration with the Australian Water Partnership, KISTERS AU provided technical assistance to the Indian Ministry of Water Resources under National Hydrology Project, Phase III, funded by the World Bank. The Indian state of Gujarat was selected to implement a groundwater information system that has a clear pathway to upscale across the country. (World Bank reports that more than half of India’s districts are threatened by groundwater depletion or contamination due to a lack of regulation.) Automating and consolidating a significant volume of data into a single quality-controlled system of record has helped the ag rich, water-stressed state make a significant leap forward in data management and analytics. In addition, a web portal disseminates and displays information, including maps of isolines, to geographically dispersed decision-makers.

    Cecilia Tortajada, Asit Biswas & Udisha Saklani of Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy provided in 2017 this groundwater monitoring data summary.

  • In Southeast Asia, the Government of Viet Nam is taking the lead to develop mechanisms to prevent, mitigate and manage natural hazards. With World Bank support, the Viet Nam Meteorological and Hydrological Administration (VNHMA) has strengthened its ability to automate the processing of real time data, standardize modelling, produce reliable weather forecasts and early warnings. KISTERS partnered with JBA Consulting (UK), Deltares (NL), and HarmonyEV (VN) to implement a central big data hub to store and process raster/gridded data as well as time series; integrate quality-assured data with the Delft-FEWS framework, which in turn feeds coastal and hydrological modeling results back into the data hub for storage; and distribute early warnings and forecasting bulletins to stakeholders via a thin web service layer.
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