City of Breda optimises water use with the internet of things

Sean Dudley
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley on 18 March 2015
City of Breda optimises water use with the internet of things

The City of Breda in the Netherlands is optimising its water use and improving its environmental footprint thanks to an internet of things solution that leverages the Microsoft cloud.

The city has worked with ireckon, an Amsterdam-based Microsoft partner, to develop a solution that links water and physical sensors at sewage plants to provide real-time data about water flow and asset management.

“The city of Breda was founded at the merging point of two rivers – the Mark and the Aa. The rivers bring a nice living environment but also brings challenges,” said Bernie van den Berg, Alderman, City of Breda. “The environment is changing with a lot of heavy rainfall, and the urbanisation process of building within the city is still ongoing. For the next generation, it’s important they have dry feet and use the water in a positive sense. This is why we started the Waterakkers project.”

Waterakkers is a large water reservoir in Breda that is surrounded by a housing development. Thanks to the solution, citizens can access real time information on the current status of the water, helping to encourage a greater awareness and consciousness of water use in the city.

“The platform we use for the solution is Microsoft Azure,” said Mark Voermans, chief business development officer, ireckon. “It’s a data cloud environment where we capture all the data from the sensors and the pumps. We also use Microsoft Analytics Server to do the analysis of the data, and we use Power BI for example to show the data in real time to the people of the city to really use the data.”

Using quick response codes that are located around the reservoir environment, citizens can access real time data on the Waterakkers website. The platform is scalable and can be used for any type of water environment, with a limitless number of sensors and pumps.

“Thanks to the data we receive from all the sensors and pumps in the environment, we are able to predict maintenance and see when pumps need to be fixed, when they’re using too much energy, and also the entire water energy of Waterakkers,” Voermans said. “We also embed social media data from the citizens of the city to see what the real time value of the solution is and how we can optimise it for the future. The solution also allows the City of Breda to optimise asset management, energy and maintenance costs, and prevent flooding from happening.” 

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