Water… It falls from the sky, it comes out of the tap, and it accumulates in the great seas and oceans of the world. If you join the latter water to Rotterdam, you soon end up at the port. The largest port in Europe is located on the edge of our little country. The Water Department of the Municipality of Rotterdam is responsible for the strategic and operational management of – yes – water. Because water has a will of it’s own. It naturally goes from high to low, and that is not always what we want it to do. Using pumping stations, we can ensure that the water level in an area is maintained. In short, a large pump allows us to take water from a lower to a higher level. The Dutch like to maintain control over the water, and we would especially like to maintain control over the larger water bodies.

And so the municipality of Rotterdam called on us to manage their pumping stations (and therefore the water) for the region. The operation of the pumping stations is currently measured with various different measurement values. The verification of the design characteristics was then done by hand. The municipality asked DWG to devise a smart system with which this operation could be supported by (partially) automated analysis. No water is too deep for us, so we wanted to help.

Our approach

We think it is important that any system we develop is really suitable and manageable for the people who will actually work with it. And we would prefer to leave the battle with the water to the experts. We worked closely with the end users so we could realise a system that perfectly matches the working methods within the various operational departments.

From completely manual to thoroughly automated

We designed this system using an iterative development process, and the result displays all the relevant information at a glance. The quality of the source data is, of course, still the highest priority, so we focused on the robustness of the quality and traceability of actions and decisions. And DWG wouldn’t be DWG if we didn’t take into account the continuous development of the underlying infrastructure. This was extensively included in the design of the system.

Usability comes first.

And did it work? Well, nobody has fish swimming through their living room. We developed a user interface that can be easily accessed through a standard browser. You don’t need to install special software to use the program. Because there is already enough specialist software, we thought. In doing so, use was made of de facto industrial standards such as C #, .NET, CSS, HTLM5 and MVC. Bring it on, water: the municipality of Rotterdam is ready.