The fourth-revolution in the water sector encounters the digital revolution

The so-called fourth revolution in the water sector will encounter the Big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution. The current data surplus stemming from all types of devices together with the relentless increase in computer capacity is revolutionizing almost all existing sectors, and the water sector will not be an exception. Combining the power of Big data analytics (including AI) with existing and future urban water infrastructure represents a significant untapped opportunity for the operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation of urban water infrastructure to achieve economic and environmental sustainability. However, such progress may catalyze socio-economic changes and cross sector boundaries (e.g., water service, health, business) as the appearance of new needs and business models will influence the job market. Such progress will impact the academic sector as new forms of research based on large amounts of data will be possible, and new research needs will be requested by the technology industrial sector. Research and development enabling new technological approaches and more effective management strategies are needed to ensure that the emerging framework for the water sector will meet future societal needs. The feature further elucidates the complexities and possibilities associated with such collaborations.

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