After an exceptionally dry winter, Southern Europe confronts a summer crisis, necessitating crucial innovative water management for a stable water supply. In this context, Emma Weisbord elucidates the critical role that Machine Learning (ML) can play in drought-prone regions.
Author: Emma Weisbord, Partnership Lead, Digital Water, Twinn Aquasuite
Last week, The Guardian highlighted an impending summer crisis in Southern Europe, as a result of an extremely dry winter. Severe drought affects one-fifth of mainland Portugal, with approximately 90% of the country experiencing its impact. Additionally, the recent floods in northern Italy and Spain have been worsened by prolonged periods of drought. As flood and drought cycles intensify, it is essential to find trusted and proven ways to keep your water supply stable and make better-informed decisions about precious water resources.
With climate change causing the aridification of many regions, it is crucial to monitor water demand and to account for changing use patterns. While the Netherlands is not the first country that comes to mind when thinking of drought or water scarcity, parts of the country share Southern Europe's concerns over water stress. In fact, according to Dutch News, "Vitens, which is responsible for providing water to around one third of the population, has warned several times about the shortage of drinking water, particularly in the east of the country." By looking to countries that are already successfully managing water stress, it is possible to adopt solutions that will make a real, sustainable difference.
Since her MSc in Water Science, Policy, and Management, Emma Weisbord has worked with Oxford’s Primary Health Care Department, Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute, the International Water Association, and water technology startups. She is actively involved in global networks, has chaired the Smart Water Network Forum (SWAN) Rising Smart Water Professionals Leadership Programme, served on the IWA Emerging Water Leaders Committee, the IWA Strategic Council, and is currently an advisory board member of the Aquatech Innovation Forum, and a member of the SWAN Digital Twin working group. As the Partnership Lead for Twinn’s water market, Emma’s mission is to empower water professionals to connect, collaborate, and innovate to improve safety, access, and affordability of water and sanitation services globally.