Factsheet #37

Innovation programme with private sector for sharing water data

Instrument Type


Governance Level


Governance Mode


Water management topics addressed

Drought & water scarcity
Water abstraction for irrigation and other economic activities
Water quality issues due to nutrient pollution
Water quality issues: Other reasons

Implementation requirements

Financial capacity


Human capacity


Political buy-in


Timeframe for implementation


#37: Innovation programme with private sector for sharing water data


Initiatives could investigate how to integrate and analyse water data from a wide range of existing sources (private and public) including precipitation measurements, water level and water quality monitors, levee sensors, radar data, model predictions, as well current and historic maintenance data from sluices, pumping stations, locks and dams. 


An innovation program could start a process for the integration of different data sets. The data system could address concerns ranging from the quality of drinking water to the increasing frequency and impact of extreme weather-related events to the risk of floods and droughts. A catalog of frequently used data and data converted to a standardised form could provide a unified view of the data needed to e.g. make more accurate flood predictions.

Example: The Digital Delta initiative in the Netherlands

In 2013 the initiative “Digital Delta” was jointly launched by the Dutch National Water Agency, the Delfland Regional Water Authority, the Deltares Science Institute and the University of Delft. The initiative was led by IBM and was focused on innovation. The ambition of the programme was to explore possible ways to integrate and consequently analyze water-related data from a wide range of sources, such as weather precipitation measurements, monitoring of water quantity and quality, sensors, prediction models, pumping stations and dams. With this innovative management framework, various concerns related to the field of water are addressed, from the detection of the quality of freshwater to the assessment on the increasingly common extreme weather events and their impact, but also flood and drought predictions. Through the employment of recent digital technologies and specific industry expertise, Digital Delta experiments with new approaches for data management and sharing.


Hydrologic - Digital Delta
https://www.hydrologic.com/themes/digital-delta/ Retrieved on 22 September 2020

OECD (2014) Water Governance in the Netherlands: fit for the future? OECD Studies on Water https://www.oecd.org/governance/water-governance-in-the-netherlands-9789264102637-en.htm Retrieved on 22 September 2020.

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