“Green Smart Technology for Water (GST4Water) per l’utilizzo sostenibile della risorsa idrica negli edifici e in ambito urbano” is an industrial research project funded by the European Community through the financial sponsorship of the Emilia-Romagna Region (POR FESR 2014–2020). The project, whose goal was the development of hardware and software solutions for the sustainable management of water resources, saw the cooperation of 5 research laboratories (Terra & Acqua Tech and MechLav of the University of Ferrara, CIRI-EA and CIRI-EC University of Bologna and ENEA Environmental Laboratory) and the involvement of 5 business partners (CADF SpA, Xeo4 srl, SO.GE.SE SCSD, Starplast srl and VerdeAlto srl). The project consisted of four work packages (WP), the first two related to the development of a water consumption monitoring and processing system, the third to the recovery and reuse of gray and meteoric water, and the last to the economic and environmental sustainability.

DSUnife mainly worked on the first two WPs, by realizing a system for the monitoring and processing of water consumption (both indoor and outdoor). The system’s architecture is divided into two main blocks: the real-time monitoring system, which receives data sent by smart water meters and forward them to a cloud platform, and the processing system which elaborates the collected data to return useful information to both Water Utilities and their customers.

The developing of the monitoring system required the design and the installation of a device (gateway) capable of collecting consumption data of multiple smart water meters. To solve this goal, we have designed a gateway to collect data from multiple type of smart water meters that adopt open wireless communication protocols such as WM-Bus and LoRa.

This gateway is built on the top a Single Board Computer (a Raspberry Pi) equipped with radio modules for receiving metering data (often WM-Bus or LoRa modules) and to communicate with the Internet using Wi-Fi (when available) or the 3G/4G cellular network. The software component running on the gateway was created entirely using open source technologies.

The processing system consists of a Cloud Computing infrastructure in which the data transmitted by the receiving devices are validated and processed through appropriate algorithms to extract useful information for Water Utility and users. The elaborations, combined with the consumption data measured directly by the smart meters, are then made available through a graphic interface. To verify the correct functioning of the entire infrastructure, numerous tests have been carried out in the laboratory and on the field, in the water district (DMA) of Gorino Ferrarese, Ferrara, Italy with the collaboration of CADF (Consorzio Acque Delta Ferrarese), and in other locations in the city of Bologna and a sports facility at Ozzano Emilia managed from SO.GE.SE.

Involved Partners

  • CADF SpA
  • Laboratorio Enea per l’Ambiente
  • Piscine Sogese
  • Starplast SRL
  • Università degli Studi di Bologna – CIRI-EC e CIRI-EA
  • Università degli Studi di Ferrara – Mechlav
  • Università degli Studi di Ferrara – Terra&Acqua Tech
  • VerdeAlto SRL
  • Xeo4