Optimization of Everything

The Project “Optimization of Everything”, more formally “Prediction and Control of the Entire Delta and River System of The Netherlands” aims at demonstrating the potential that prediction and control technologies can have on improved operational water management of the Netherlands. The focus is put on management of the Dutch water system as a whole.

The water management should serve the objective that the Dutch society considers important. These are: to avoid extreme high water levels for safety, supply water for drinking water production, cooling water, ecology and agriculture and avoid too low or too high water levels as much as possible on navigable stretches. Fulfilling these objectives is under thread from the meteorological boundary conditions: extreme precipitation, too high or too low river inflows and high sea water levels. At the same time there are controllable structures and there is storage available that can be used to counteract and anticipate these threads. In Figure 1, a schematic overview is given of the objectives, threads and controllable structures that are considered in this research.

The present operational water management of the structures in The Netherlands can, in general, be characterized as single objective, local and non-anticipatory. Most of the structures serve a single objective, for example safety, for the area in their neighborhood and bases their actions on local measurements (and not on predictions for the coming days). This is straightforward and very robust.
On the other hand, recently, more technology has become available, such as real-time measurements throughout the country with robust communication to centralized locations, prediction systems of the river inflows and sea tide, fast computers that can run optimal controllers, better meteorological, hydrological and hydrodynamic models, etc, which can improve the performance and counteract on problems that occur in the present Dutch water system.

The project is executed for Water INNovation of Rijkswaterstaat and Deltares.

For more information contact Luciano Raso or Peter-Jules van Overloop