Delft, Netherlands

The surface water system in and around the city of Delft receives excess water several times a year during intensive rainfall events (pluvial flooding). The general public, industry and farmers are affected locally by water in cellars, on the streets, in greenhouses, and on the fields. In dry summer months they are affected by water quality problems through eutrophication. The water board needs to gather more real-time information on the state of the water system than it currently receives from the in-situ monitoring network.

All stakeholders need more timely and local warnings for short-term event management, and more and easier exchange of information about the operation of the water system for developing and deciding on long-term policies. The water board has developed a new policy – Digital Delfland – in which they provide the 40,000 km2 highly industrialised and highly controlled area as a test bed for monitoring and feedback experiments. The area includes the famous Westland region which is almost fully covered with greenhouses producing a significant portion of the nation’s agricultural needs as well as high-level agricultural products for export. The current extensive hard monitoring network of the water board can be used for this purpose, which presents information on precipitation, water quality, water levels, pump operation and system performance.

WeSenseIt is the first Digital Delfland project providing monitoring information to all, including citizen information in the digital hydrological cycle information system of Delft. First experiments of public participation in water monitoring have been performed in recent research studies.