iFOS is a project funded by the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-20121 within the framework of the Programme "Business Innovation Greece", aiming to provide early warnings for Seawater Desalination Plants, introducing the concept of forecasting in desalination plant optimization.
Seawater desalination technologies are rapidly developing along with the increasing water demand. However, the future of seawater desalination is threatened by the emerging issues of marine pollution. iFOS responds to the need for resource saving and low waste desalination, aspiring to offer an innovative solution to offset the impacts associated with the supply of desalinated seawater.
A short-term forecasting service line for the coastal zone
iFOS aspires to offer a satellite-assisted, short-term forecasting service for the most relevant environmental parameters of the coastal zone including daily concentration maps of key water quality parameters (e.g. temperature, chlorophyll-a, turbidity) up to 1 week ahead.
The forecasting service line will be powered by a third-generation wave model (SWAN) coupled with a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model (Delft3D FLOW) and a data-driven water quality model of the coastal environment.
The modelling chain will communicate dynamically with other meteorological and large-scale ocean modelling forecasting systems (e.g. Copernicus Marine Services), in order to obtain real-time information for updating the boundary conditions of the study area.
Finally, advanced data assimilation techniques will be used for operational assimilation of EO-based water-quality products obtained from Sentinel and Landsat to improve the predictive power of forecasts.
Transforming forecasts into actionable intelligence for the desalination industry
To further advance decision-making from a diagnostic level (“what is happening”) to a prescriptive level (“how to respond”), iFOS will develop a Decision Support System (DSS) customized to the needs of the desalination industry. The DSS will be fed with information produced by the forecasting service line and will offer readily interpretable warnings on upcoming water quality deterioration incidences to support decision-making in selecting those operating conditions that will ensure the desired level of seawater treatment in a cost-efficient manner.
iFOS will pursue a close interaction with key experts and end-users by involving them in a continuous co-design and co-development approach from the early stages of the project, aiming to deliver an innovative yet readily marketable service, tailored to the needs of the desalination industry.
Operational web-based platform
iFOS will establish a fully operational web-based platform that will enable data hosting and data exchange between the different modelling components utilizing advanced Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). At the same time the iFOS platform will provide a user-friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI) that will allow end-users to interact with the DSS and explore the produced information through an interactive visualization dashboard.