Digital Twin in Water Resource Management

Image: Adobe Stock | #186550922

Following the "Industry 4.0" initiative, the "German Water Partnership" introduced the term "Water 4.0", which places digitalization and automation at the center of a strategy for resource-efficient, flexible and competitive water management and describes the transformation to cyber-physical systems. The optimal networking of virtual and real water systems is essential in this context and is to be taken into account in the future for planning, construction and operation. The research project "Digitaler Zwilling Wasserwirtschaft" (DZW - Digital Twin in Water Resource Management) serves to examine the application areas and potentials of artificial intelligence in the environment of water treatment, waterworks, etc. The cooperation between Trier University of Applied Sciences (Environmental Campus Birkenfeld) and DFKI aims, e. g., to develop joint reference models in collaboration with water treatment plants and various companies from the water sector. The results obtained are to serve as a practical starting point for the development of digitization measures in the future. The project focuses on the potential of developing digital twins in the water industry.

A digital twin is a virtual image of a physical product or process that is supplied with real data, usually provided by sensors or similar measurement tools. By using a digital twin, companies can perform realistic modeling and optimize and plan production processes, even before commissioning or during ongoing operations. Real world use cases in the water industry include locating leakage, energy efficiency, improving water quality, planning maintenance work, and responding to emergencies at an early stage. The basis for this are simulations and prediction models, which can be created with the help of a digital twin.

Project lead at Trier University of Applied Sciences Prof. Dr. Stefan Naumann
Consortium Trier University of Applied Sciences (Environmental Campus Birkenfeld), Institute for Software Systems, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)
Project duration July 2022 to June 2027
Project sponsor Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy and Mobility Rhineland-Palatinate (Ministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Energie und Mobilität Rheinland-Pfalz, MKUEM)
Funding amount 165.000 €/a total, 40.000 €/a of which to Trier University of Applied Sciences
Prof. Dr. Stefan Naumann
Prof. Dr. Stefan Naumann, Dipl.-Inform.
Professor FB Umweltplanung/Umwelttechnik - FR Informatik


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