Sustainable data-driven management of water quality.

Brigitte de Graaf
TU Delft, Tsinghua University, New York University
Systems & Control Engineering (MSc.), Mechanical Engineering (BSc., completed)

Over het initiatief / About the initiative


In welke fase zit jouw initiatief? / In what stage is your initiative?


Heb je jouw initiatief al gevalideerd? / Did you validate your initiative?

Krill has been validated during our first pilot for the municipality of Utrecht and Hoogheemraadschap de Stichtse Rijnlanden in which we measured four parameters in two waterbodies and accurately detected the location of smell complaints based on the measurement.

Meer informatie over jouw initiatief / More info about your initiative

Through the usage of modular robotic boats thousands of measurements of a waterbody can be taken within a matter of hours. These measurements are converted to an easy to interpret map. This allows now for source tracing of problems and acquiring data and knowledge of waterbodies. This data in turn is necessary for the developments of (mathematical) models through the application of AI, that can learn to detect water quality problems earlier. Which then allows problem solving at a stage where the measures required to solve the problem are smaller. In a bit of a longer timespan we aim to get to a stage where water quality management becomes taking preventative measures instead of curing ones.

Wat zijn jouw volgende stappen om het verder te ontwikkelen? / What are your next steps to develop the initiative?

The most important next step is performing as much measurement operations as possible. Using this data we can directly help the clients with identifying various problems. Besides this, we can use the data to build models. From these models we will obtain a better understanding of processes within the water which will ultimately help us detect water quality problems earlier on and potentially allow us to prevent water quality problems instead of cure them.

Furthermore, we are working on the development of another type of water quality measurement unit to add to the types of measurements that we can take. These projects are developed with the help of a student team.

Wat heb je nodig om (nog meer) impact te maken met dit initiatief? / What do you need to make (more) impact with this initiative?

On our path to revolutionize water quality, as engineers, we would greatly benefit from guidance on navigating the political space in the Netherlands. The sector we are active in requires working with governmental organizations such as municipalities and waterboards. They work under  the current set of laws that is build for the ‘old’ system which allows for little innovation. This needs to change in order for the Netherlands to be able to satisfy the requirements for water quality both nationally and internationally (Kaderrichtlijn Water) and in order for us to be able to develop the best solutions.

Another aspect is finances. We can make more impact if we have more technology that we can apply, which needs to be developed by our team, which can be realized by a larger budget.