ERS-Project Digital Water Drop


Description and goals

Architecture and components of the Digital Water Drop. Copyright: © WZL Architecture and components of the Digital Water Drop.

The research project The Digital Water Drop aims to enable an integrated and holistic view of dams and their catchment areas based on new digital tools (digital twins). The vision is to track and replicate the chain from raindrop to drinking water production in the Digital Water Drop by combining versatile measurement systems with methods from the field of Industry 4.0, and on this basis to understand and influence it in a targeted manner. The work will be carried out in a study area, the Smart Forest Lab of KWH4.0 in Arnsberg adjacent to Lake Möhne, where relevant data and sensor systems are already available.

The IWW is project coordinator and responsible for the numerical modeling of the hydrological and hydraulic processes in the study area. In addition to in-situ sensors, high-resolution weather and satellite data will be integrated into the models. On this basis, a holistic digitalization, networking and automation according to Industry 4.0 will be carried out in joint cooperation with the partners and the local water management.


Partners and Funding

Logo Digital Water Drop Copyright: © IWW & WZL

The following partners are involved in the research project:

  • Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management (RWTH Aachen University)
  • Institute for Man-Machine Interaction (RWTH Aachen University)
  • Institute of Environmental Engineering (RWTH Aachen University)
  • Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (RWTH Aachen University)

The joint project is funded by the Federal Ministry (BMBF) and the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MKW) under the funding code OPSF637 as part of the federal and state excellence strategy.

The project is funded within the framework of the ERS Prep Fund of the RWTH.


Key Data

Development of new digital tools to ensure sustainable water supply and optimised catchment management.

Numerical modelling with XBeach.

Duration: 08/2021 – 08/2022

Partners: 4




Julian Hofmann

Scientific staff


+49 241 80 25765