Big Data to Address Flooding

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A €1 million ‘big data’ research project, acquired by IBM Inc. IBM +0.74%, will organize different data sources on water to aid officials in planning a response to flooding, assessment of water quality, and development of navigation in the Netherlands.

The project called Digital Delta, is in partnership with Rijkswaterstaat (the Dutch Ministry for Water), local Water Authority Delfland, Deltares Science Institute and the University of Delft, according to The Wall Street Journal.

River Waal near Ochten, the Netherlands
Bert Kaufmann/flickr

Digital Delta will look at how to merge and check water data from varying data sources on hand.

But IBM Global Center of Excellence for Water Management Water Management Executive Djeevan Schiferli believes the information bases have different formats, with extensions to many sites. “There is a lot of different data sources available, for instance there is a national monitoring network that generates two million data points a day from 450 measuring systems,” he said.

Rijkswaterstaat Director Raymond Feron, however, said the plan will offer further data sources to the water authorities. He also said the program will enable businesses to discover creative solutions. “We are looking at other sources that could be helpful in getting new solutions,” he said.

The research project began on Tuesday and it is expected to last for a period of 12 months.