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The global Water Sector is faced with significant challenges, including, but not restricted to aging infrastructure, fluctuating populations, new pollutants, more stringent regulations and the need for benchmarking their performance. At the same time the Sector remains very fragmented and hence its R&D often doesn’t have the critical mass to develop the tools and models that are required. Although research institutes and academia do develop such tools, the road from the research environment to the first practical application often proves an insurmountable barrier. Watershare offers a platform for such a transition: Launched as an online placeholder for expert water-related tools, Watershare supports a closer collaboration between knowledge providers and knowledge consumers, within a quality assured environment. The Watershare concept encompasses a variety of benchmarked tools designed for areas like water quality and health, sustainability, water technology, asset design and management, and water systems. This paper briefly describes the main tools that are already in the toolbox and suggests possible gaps that need to be filled, matching them with key areas of concern in the water industry of tomorrow. The paper explains the way Watershare operates as a community of practice as well as one of collaborative research and knowledge co-creation. A knowledge management instrument that has been specifically designed to facilitate collective future visioning in an integrated and intelligent fashion is also presented and discussed. Synergies between the tools are explained and strategies supporting an organic, demand-driven, content creation addressing explicit needs of the Water Sector are outlined. It is suggested that this platform can act as a powerful vehicle to bring to market tools and innovation that has been up to date confined only to research prototypes while allowing for their application globally and providing Water Companies of different scales cost-effective access to high quality, benchmarked software tools


Session R08, Web-based Systems for Sharing of Data and Models



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