HERMANA Water Control Room in Colombia
HERMANA launch for sustainable water management in Colombia
On 10 July 2019, the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Valle del Cauca (CVC) in Colombia launched HERMANA, a decision-support platform promoting sustainable water management in the region, in collaboration with Deltares, FutureWater, Dutch Water Authorities and HydroLogic.
The Valle del Cauca is situated in the west of Colombia and is the country’s third-largest economy. Sugar cane is an important source of income for the region. However, this crop is heavily reliant on water and, with demand for surface water and groundwater under strain, the challenge for CVC is to ensure the available water is optimally shared among all users. For example by managing water resources as smartly as possible and issuing and monitoring permits for water use. CVC also produces daily and monthly reports on water needs and availability, and communicates this information to stakeholders in the area.
Decision-support system for integrated water management
To manage the water resources as effectively as possible, CVC needed a single, integrated decision-support system providing online access to all the relevant information on ground and surface water (quantity and quality), meteorology and so on. HERMANA (meaning sister in Spanish) is an abbreviation for HERramienta para el MANejo integral del Agua or, in other words, a decision-support system for integrated water management. It provides (1) insight into current and forecast demand for and availability of water, and (2) overviews and advice via dashboards, reports and alerts. Thanks to HERMANA, CVC can take the right decisions, explain and reproduce them so as to promote sustainable, open and transparent management of its water resources.
HERMANA information chain
During the first step of the HERMANA implementation, the Dutch Water Authorities and Deltares worked together with CVC to identify the various decision-making processes and related need for information. After this participatory process, the HERMANA platform was implemented by smartly connecting the following 3 existing products:
- The Delft-FEWS Colombia system, which provides access to all relevant weather and water information, models and forecasts from CVC and IDEAM (Colombia’s national hydrology and meteorology service);
- FutureWater’s InfoSequía tool, which provides satellite information-based drought indicators for the entire area;
- HydroLogic’s HydroNET system, which combines the information from InfoSequía and Delft-FEWS Colombia with local knowledge and data from CVC and generates personalised online dashboards and reports tailored to CVC’s information needs. Examples include a dashboard showing the water available for the city of Cali, flood forecasts for the River Cauca and a drought dashboard for the CVC area.
This information and partner chain approach ensures that the capability of each system and partner can be optimally used. The result is a cost-effective and scalable solution that can also be applied in the rest of Colombia and beyond.
HERMANA is just one of the success stories of WaterCONNECT, a Deltares and HydroLogic initiative focusing on collaboration in a ‘golden triangle’ (knowledge institutes, public and private organisations). By combining forces the WaterCONNECT consortium is helping water managers around the world to set up online, integrated decision-support systems.
HERMANA is the result of a ‘Partners for Water’ grant from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and an investment by CVC and contributions from Deltares, HydroLogic, FutureWater and the Dutch Water Authorities.
The operational testing and implementation of InfoSequía into HERMANA has been partially funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No. 700699.