The Hydroinformatics Institute’s new Chief Consulting Officer Wouter de Hamer sees massive potential for technology to provide next-generation digital solutions to the world’s water-related challenges. He talks about what he brings to the table at H2i
Specialists from the Hydroinformatics Institute (H2i) have completed six months of training for Singapore-based water quality & IT experts on the system architecture, monitoring, and maintenance of the Delft-FEWS platform.
The Delft-FEWS platform is used for disseminating real-time and forecasted hydrologic and water quality information to operators so they can make better-informed decisions. The platform can be customised to the specific requirements of an individual or organisation.
Training – held over three sessions – was conducted between 26 July and 13 December 2018.
The first session focused on the administrative aspects of Delft-FEWS. Participants were taken through the principles of the Delft-FEWS platform, forecast management, the non-ICT focused aspects of system monitoring (foreground monitoring), the admin interface, and the configuration of the platform.
The next session zoomed in on the more functional aspects, including how FEWS – the background component – works. Trainees were given a functional overview of the hardware and infrastructural components, and taken through database maintenance, logging, and data acquisition.
The final session involved a more in-depth knowledge transfer of the root configuration, as well as troubleshooting, monitoring that requires ICT knowledge (background monitoring), maintenance, and discussing the common issues users encounter.
The sessions were well received. Participants said they gained a better understanding of the Delft-FEWS system and appreciated that the course was fully-customised, with examples tailored to their own system.
Keen on upping your digital skills?
H2i provides training courses on a regular basis to water industry and national water agency professionals in Singapore and around the world.
Our expertise includes:
Operational management systems
Water modelling tools
Water quality modelling
Here is an overview of some of our past courses:
Asian Development Bank headquarters in Manila – Training centered on equipping ADB staff with key skills and the necessary knowledge to evaluate water quality modelling studies.
Public Utilities Board (PUB) – Training courses on the use of Delft-FEWS
HAII, Thailand – Training courses on Operational Management Systems for water systems
If you’d like to upgrade the skills of your team, get in touch. We run our courses for staff at all levels at your facility or in our Singapore training facilities.
A partnership consisting of H2i Balkans (Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina) and EZ Hydroinformatics (Prague, Czech Republic) has won the support of the UNDP Challenge Fund to pilot an early flash flood warning system. The system will serve the flood-prone Ričina basin in the Tomislavgrad municipality of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The grant is part of the Czech-UNDP Partnership for Sustainable Development Goals (CFCS) project, which is aimed at facilitating the transfer of technology and innovative solutions that will help address the region’s development challenges, allow it to better cope with climate change and contribute to the achievement of SDG’s.
Historically, Bosnia and Herzegovina have experienced numerous extreme weather events, particularly flooding. The Local Early Flash Flood Warning system for the Ričina basin will help mitigate the impact of flash floods, a disaster risk that is especially acute in remote valleys without formal monitoring networks in place.
The system puts in place a warning system that will alert the local communities of Omolje, Seonica and Crvenica ahead of a flash flood. The early warning will make it possible for communities to be evacuated in the case of extreme flood events, and mitigation measures be put in place.
This pilot consists of a relatively simple system: a battery-powered monitoring network of rainfall-gauges and water level monitors, and a web- and GPRS-based IT platform that dispatches early warnings about incoming flash floods. SMS alerts will be sent to various stakeholders, and a local-language web-based dashboard will provide round-the-clock flood information. Local staff will also be trained to maintain the equipment and support the authorities in planning.
Over time, a data repository will be built up, enabling better research and policy making. Once the effectiveness of the system is proven, it can be scaled up or replicated in other towns and cities in the region.
CFCS is financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, and will be implemented by the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub from 2018 to 2021. It is aimed at finding innovative and replicable solutions for situations like these in three partner countries: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, and the Republic of Moldova.
H2i Balkans, an offshoot of Singapore water technology company Hydroinformatics Institute (H2i), specializes in the use of big data analytics, machine learning, and advanced computer modelling to solve real-world water issues.
Sarajevo, December 2018: As members of the global business and scientific communities rally behind Bosnia-Herzegovina and invest in its future, local groups mustplay their role in embracing and implementing the technologies they bring.
That will be key to the country’s ability to address its developmental and climate change challenges in the long-term, Director of H2i Balkans,VišnjaĆorić, told the USAid Diaspora Invest Forum in Sarajevo in December.
MsĆorićwas speaking as part of a panel at the USAid Diaspora Invest forum. Other members of the panel included representatives of EDNA Metalworking and Orea.
H2i Balkansis one of the recipients of the USAid Diaspora Invest project , which is financed by the US Agency for International Development, and aimed at facilitating investment into the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina by its diaspora .
H2i Balkans, an offshoot of Singapore water technology company Hydroinformatics Institute (H2i) that was incorporated in April last year,specialises in the use of big data analytics, machine learning, and advanced computer modelling to solve real-world water issues.
In Bosnia-Herzegovina, H2i’s expertise in flood forecasting and mapping of areas susceptible to extreme weather events is critical,enablingearly warning systems and mitigation measures to be put in place.
Historically, the region has been prone to flooding and flood damages. The funded project, Real-time Flood Risk and Pollution Management System through Computer Modelling and Big Water Data, includes technology and training, and the development of an early-warning flood forecast web portal.
H2i Balkansis currently growing its team and providing local groups with the training needed to support its projects, so that simple applications of its technologies can reach even remote parts of the country, including smaller communities in the floodplains.
“Given the extent of our experience in Singapore, which stretches over a decade, we are in a unique position to be able to transferboth our knowledge and technologies to projects in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the entire Western Balkans,” saysMsĆorić.
MsĆorić ran the Singapore office for Dutch water institute Deltares before becoming Operations Manager of H2i Singaporein 2014. She is concurrently Director of H2i Balkans
“We are committed to providing the relevant assistance and education, but need the support of local communities to implement our technologies where they are most needed,” she says.
Accurate quantitative rainfall prediction at high temporal and spatial resolution is vital for flood management and operations at Singapore’s National Water Agency PUB.
H2i is proud to announce that the Radar rainfall project has been successfully completed by the end of 2018 as per schedule. Working with weather radar supplier Furuno, H2i has been developing this system for the PUB since June 2016.
The result is a sophisticated network of 3 X-band rainfall radars; one located in the North, one the East and one in the West of the country. These radars detect rainfall at high spatial- and temporal resolution.
X-band radars are compact, cost effective and energy efficient, however they do suffer from signal attenuation caused by heavy rainfall. To address this, the three radars work in tandem. The system seamlessly merges the observations of the individual radars into a single integrated rainfall map and adjusts in real-time, for any signal attenuation.
All information is disseminated through a H2i in-house developed web interface. The web interface is equipped with a nowcast system predicting in real-time the rainfall for the next 2 to 90 minutes. In addition, the web interface contains many tools for the users. Some tools are used by the PUB operators for live management of (predicted) heavy rainfall; other tools allow for analysis after a heavy events or analysis of a whole season, such as the North-East monsoon season. In case of heavy rainfall within the Marina catchment, SMS-alerts are sent out to relevant PUB staff such that timely mitigation actions can be performed. The System is currently fully integrated into PUB’s Operational systems.
H2i Balkans received a Grant award under the program entitled USAID Diaspora Invest Activity, financed by the US Agency for International Development implemented by Financial Markets International (FMI) Inc.
The purpose of the Grant is to provide support to H2i Balkans activities in the field of Real-time Flood Risk and Pollution Management System through Computer Modelling and Big Water Data, in the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with potential extension of these activities throughout the Western Balkans. Supported by the Grant, H2i Balkans will organise Workshops, offer training programmes and develop early warning flood forecast web portal.
H2i Balkans has been incorporated in April 2018 (https://www.h2i.sg/news/2018/4/27/h2i-opens-european-office) as a wholly owned subsidiary of Hydroinformatics Institute Pte. Ltd. The intention behind establishment of H2i Balkans is to apply experiences in predictive modelling and real-time flood forecasting from Singapore in Bosnia and Hercegovina, and wider across the Balkans area.
Hydroinformatics Institute Pte. Ltd. is a fast-growing Singapore-registered technology company that specializes in the use of big data analytics, machine learning and advanced computer modelling to solve real-world water issues. It develops, executes and manages specialist consultancy projects in the fields of monitoring, hydrodynamic modelling, water quality modelling and operational water management systems.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has awarded Hydroinformatics Institute (H2i) a contract for conducting a Water quality modelling training. This one-day training will equip ADB staff with key skills and the necessary knowledge to evaluate water quality modelling studies. These studies are increasingly being undertaken by ADB as a part of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), conducted for projects awarded under their funding. The training will also demonstrate to ADB staff the relevance and importance of water quality modelling in EIA studies for large-scale infrastructure projects and will introduce ADB staff to the best current practices in water quality modelling.
The training course will take place in November 2018 and is the first such course given by H2i to a large international funding agency.
H2i provides training courses on a regular basis, mostly to agencies in Singapore as part of ongoing projects. The institute provides training for various water modelling tools as well as operational management systems, such as Delft-FEWS (http://www.h2i.sg/news/2017/10/14/h2i-and-deltares-to-provide-delft-fews-course-in-singapore)
Over the past 2 months that I spent with H2i, I came to understand how technology and data can be implemented in different areas of the water industry to help various countries, organizations and companies in policies & decision-making, planning & managing water resources, and monitoring water quality.
Thanks to the guidance of my colleagues, I have gained knowledge and various hands-on experiences using different software in hydrological and hydrodynamic modelling. They have always been patient in answering my queries about how certain things work, why something works but other things don’t and many more.
Other than that, being handed with loads of data was daunting at first, but with the help of fellow colleagues, I was able to process big data and draw meaningful insights, whether it is about the dynamics of different water quality in coastal areas or how different processes in a water cycle affect the water quality, etc. Then, I learned how to narrate with my data, using interactive, available tools to make it easier for others people to see and understand. I was also inspired by senior consultants and data scientists in H2i to take up coding for data analysis and it was a huge learning curve for me.
Beside all the technical knowledge, I also got a taste of how consultants work. I got to attend external meeting with clients and agencies to understand their needs and how H2i can come into the scene. Besides, I also had an opportunity to participate in Singapore International Water Week (SIWW), which was really eye-opening in seeing how complex are the water issues these days in various countries and what they have done to combat such issues.
This internship has truly been enriching as I was able to pick up a wide range of knowledge and it gives me a better understanding of the water sector in Singapore and worldwide. I come to be appreciative of different solutions towards water issues. As I will be finishing my study and join the workforce, I hope to bring the application of data and technology to solve such issues and create a better living environment for everyone.
I am always thankful for this amazing opportunity that H2i gave me!
Accurate quantitative rainfall prediction at high temporal and spatial resolution is vital for flood management and operations at Singapore’s National Water Agency PUB.
Yet, it is a challenge to obtain such accurate rainfall data and forecasts in Singapore, where convective storms are common and rainfall is typically very local.
H2i has been working on a project to develop a high-resolution rainfall detection and forecast system based on state-of-art X-band weather radar technology.
X-band weather radars are compact, cost effective and energy efficient. They can also provide near real-time and high-resolution rainfall data.
This project’s nowcasting model has been providing rainfall data to PUB’s system with promising results. It is in the process of being improved further and evaluated based on a sufficient number of rain events to ensure the required accuracy is achieved.
Working with weather radar specialists from the radar supplier Furuno, H2i has been developing this system for the PUB since June 2016. It is expected to be completed by December 2018.
This project will create opportunities for the development of a commercial X-band radar rainfall monitoring and nowcasting system that could apply to flood management in other cities in Asia.
The Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI) has renewed its contract with the Hydroinformatics Institute (H2i) to monitor and understand the seasonal changes in water characteristics and current circulation in Singapore’s coastal waters.
TMSI, Singapore’s leading institute for tropical marine science as well as environmental science, has worked with H2i since 2015.
The new contract will run to 2019, with an option to be extended to 2020.
Using state-of-the-art technology, H2i and TMSI measure the quality of Singapore’s coastal waters over various time periods. The results allow for a better understanding of seasonal changes and how they impact the quality of Singapore’s waters.
More details about the project are available here: http://www.h2i.sg/staying-current-on-coastal-water-processes/
As a geography undergraduate looking for an internship, I had hoped to land in an organization that would give me a glimpse of the subject as it was applied. At the Hydroinformatics Institute, I got that - and more.
Over the last two months that I have spent at H2i, which helps countries and companies manage the earth’s most critical resource, I have had a close up view of how big data and technology intersects with the environment. For a student who had, till now, gleaned her water knowledge largely from textbook and theory, the experience has been both intimidating and eye opening.
Learning to handle data was initially mind-boggling. But what seemed to be a blur of numbers on an excel sheet has since started to make sense. Thanks to the patience of my colleagues, patterns began to emerge, about rainfall and floods, or about climatic patterns, and I learnt to see the stories that the numbers presented.
But beyond seeing those stories, I’ve also had opportunities to learn to tell some stories, and how narratives are critical to science and technology – more than just data scientists need to understand what the numbers mean. To that end, I had a chance to create several articles about our projects for our website and LinkedIn page. When I participated in the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW), for example, I heard about the many complex water issues the world faces today and wrote about the innovations that are helping the world manage them better.
While my time here has been short, it certainly has given me a deeper understanding of the complexities of water management and what companies like H2i are doing to help governments and corporations deal with them.
As I continue my studies in geography and sustainable development, it is with a view to return to the sector, so I can do my part in creating a better future. When I do, I am sure the blur of numbers will all make even more sense.
Thank you, H2i, for giving me this opportunity.
Ms Nishtha Manocha has joined the Hydroinformatics Institute (H2i) as a project manager (hydrology).
Nishtha’s years of experience in the fields of hydrology, climate adaptation, real options and water policy makes her an expert in developing adaptive solutions to combat uncertain climate change.
Nishtha received her Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering (Chemical Engineering) from Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, India in 2011, and obtained her Master’s degree in Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resource Management from National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2013.
Mostly recently, Nishtha completed her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, in the area of ‘Infrastructure Investment under Deep Uncertainty’.
Nishtha has also received several international awards. She was the recipient of the “2014 Singapore-Netherlands Sustainability Award” and was also recognized with the “President’s Award” by the Ministry of Environment, South Korea during the Asia Pacific Youth Parliament for Water. She was also the representative of the youth of Asia Pacific at the Stockholm World Water Week in 2014.
She looks forward to leading the team in new projects that will allow H2i to create an even bigger impact in the field of water management.
Welcome to the team, Nishtha!
The Hydroinformatics Institute (H2i) is growing its team of hydrological modelers and we would like to warmly welcome our newest addition, junior modeler Zhang Yuxi.
Yuxi recently graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and holds a degree in Environmental Engineering. Her final year project combined her interests in environmental issues and civil infrastructure - she studied the potential impact of climate change and fertilizer application on water quality in the Gardens by the Bay lake system.
She looks forward to learning from our experts and tackling even bigger projects.
Welcome on board, Yuxi!
Harmful algal bloom outbreaks like the one that turned the Singapore River green in October 2017 may be predicted earlier and better prevented with the help of technology, Dr. Jingjie Zhang told attendees of the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) on Tuesday afternoon, July 10th, 2018
“As water quality deteriorates rapidly worldwide due to climate change and anthropogenic activities, the prediction and control of algal bloom becomes increasingly important. Technology that gives us access to real-time monitoring and the capability to predict the change of the water quality in the water bodies could be key to preventing such outbreaks”, said Dr. Zhang who was invited by Xylem, a global water technology company, to speak to the audience of international water specialists attending the three-day event at Marina Bay Sands.
The conventional way of detecting algal blooms requires time to wait for the water samples to be lab-tested. Timing is critical in ensuring that the algal bloom is controlled, any delays could potentially worsen the outbreak. Hence, PUB, Deltares, NUS and H2i have worked together to develop an integrated monitoring and prediction system for algal bloom prediction, which can combine lab tests, online sensors and advanced modelling techniques.
This integrated modelling system combines results from several different models, namely, the water quality model, catchment model, hydrological model and emission model and can be implemented in the Operational Management (OMS) platform for daily operation and management. This system allows us to monitor and predict the change in water quality and test proper mitigation measures to be implemented. By combining real-time data from online sensors with integrated data assimilation techniques and process-based modelling system, we can prevent outbreaks of harmful algal blooms.
The talk also sparked a discussion about the possibilities of how to better combine different techniques and advanced tools to improve the integrated online-sensors and modeling approach for better monitoring and early-warning and prediction of algal blooms.
SIWW is Singapore’s leading water conference and the global platform to share and co-create innovative water solutions. SIWW draws crowds of over 20,000 to exchange innovative ideas, tap global business opportunities, and showcase leading technologies.
Improving algal species predictions and forecasting with combination of real-time sensors and water quality modeling: Singapore Reservoirs as Case Study by Dr Jingjie ZHANG, Chief Water Quality Specialist of H2i and Visiting Research Professor of SUSTec Shenzhen, China
DATE : Tuesday, July 10th
TIME : 4.30 pm
VENUE : Level 3, Room Heliconia Jr. 3412