Water Infrastructure Systems

Water infrastructure systems are the backbone for the provision, treatment and distribution of drinking water as well as for the collection, treatment and disposal of wastewater in settlements. These systems comprise a complex network of pipelines, pumping stations, treatment plants and storage tanks that work together to ensure a continuous supply of clean drinking water while minimizing the environmental impact of wastewater. The planning, construction and maintenance of such water infrastructure is crucial to protect public health, preserve the environment and ensure the availability of water resources for present and future generations.

The aim of our researchers is to create resilient water systems that can withstand changing environmental conditions and the consequences of climate change.

Competencies of the Fraunhofer Energy Alliance in the Field Water Infrastructure Systems

Automation and Digitalization

The development of water infrastructure systems goes hand in hand with automation. Automation in the water industry is crucial to ensure efficiency, reliability and responsiveness in water supply and treatment. Our experts are working on innovative solutions and technologies that enable the intelligent control and monitoring of water systems. By integrating digital methods and automation technologies, our institutes help to improve the performance of water infrastructures and to ensure a sustainable water supply.




The AquaBioTox broadband sensor concept is based on monitoring the vitality of very rapidly reacting biological microorganisms online by a camera with automatic Image Exploitation to diagnose significant changes.


Sewer inspection

The Fraunhofer IFF is developing various automated inspection and cleaning systems for the Emscher sewer on behalf of the Emschergenossenschaft (more information in German).



An early warning and security management system is helpful to enable the water providers to take fast and efficient countermeasures. The development of such a system is subject of the current German-French project »SMaRT-OnlineWDN«.



In view of the requirements from numerous applications, Fraunhofer IOSB has decided to develop a server for the standard SensorThings API. Water quality measurements also offer a potential field of application.


W-Net 4.0

The »W-Net 4.0« project aims to develop a modular and scalable platform that combines a GIS system, simulation software and data analysis tools and meets high IT security standards.

Development and Integration of Artificial Intelligence AI

The integration of digital technologies and the development of artificial intelligence are pioneering approaches in the context of water infrastructure systems. The use of artificial intelligence in water management enables more precise forecasting, monitoring and control of water systems. The institutes of Fraunhofer Energy Research rely on the analysis of large amounts of data to develop intelligent algorithms, for example to detect leaks, optimize water consumption and monitor water quality.



Nitrate Monitoring 4.0

The project aims to improve the prediction of nitrate in groundwater. This will be achieved by means of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and intelligent support systems based on it, which contribute to the protection of groundwater and to the reduction of nitrate.

Water Information Systems

Water information systems play a crucial role in the efficient management and monitoring of water infrastructures. Our experts are also involved in the development and implementation of water information systems. These systems integrate different data sources, sensor technologies and analyses to provide a holistic overview of water infrastructures, for example by developing a comprehensive water information system to support decision-makers in the water sector. Overall, the research of our member institutes contributes to the creation of advanced water information systems that enable improved monitoring, analysis and control of water infrastructures and thus promote efficiency and sustainability in the use of water resources.




Against the background of various water directives, some federal states are cooperating to develop water information systems. Our Waterframe technology provides the basis for this.



The AquaBioTox broadband sensor concept is based on monitoring the vitality of very rapidly reacting biological microorganisms online by a camera with automatic Image Exploitation to diagnose significant changes.



The aim of the Franco-German joint project »ResiWater«, a consortium of companies and research institutions, is to increase the safety and robustness of drinking water supply systems against failure events.

Resilient and Sustainable Water Infrastructures

Resilient and sustainable water infrastructures are essential to meet the challenges of climate change and increasing environmental pollution. The institutes of Fraunhofer Energy Research focus on the development of resilient and sustainable systems that are characterized by their adaptability to changing environmental conditions and their ability to recover from disruptions. These systems integrate innovative technologies and intelligent approaches to use water resources efficiently while minimizing the environmental impact. The creation of resilient and sustainable water infrastructures is at the heart of research efforts and forms the basis for innovative solutions to secure water supply and water protection for future generations.




The aim of the Franco-German joint project »ResiWater«, a consortium of companies and research institutions, is to increase the safety and robustness of drinking water supply systems against failure events.



The European project »SAFEWATER« aims at developing a comprehensive event detection and event management solution for drinking water security management and mitigation against major deliberate, accidental or natural CBRN related contaminations.



The aim is to find out to what extent more environmentally friendly solutions can be designed by bundling infrastructures. These should be legally transferable to the whole of Germany from the perspective of sustainable regional development.



The project aims to find integrated and forward-looking technical solutions that intelligently combine wastewater disposal tasks with drinking water supply tasks and increase the flexibility of the overall system (more information in German).



»i.WET« is a practical concept for heat and water reuse that promotes a near-natural urban water cycle and is characterized by an improved energy balance compared to a conventional water infrastructure (more information in German).



The project »WHy - Water for the green hydrogen economy« aims to analyze the water situation in individual regions, both in studies and by entering into a dialogue with the actors involved in order to identify and solve conflicts of use. 

Innovative Actor Models

Modern governance approaches are also increasing the number of players in the water infrastructure sector. It is very important to involve the various interest groups with the help of participatory models. These models actively involve not only governments and authorities, but also industry, civil society and science. They promote cooperative approaches in which stakeholders work together to develop and implement effective solutions to challenges in the water sector. The institutes of Fraunhofer Energy Research are working on integrating new ideas and technologies into water infrastructures, thereby creating scope for innovation and improving the efficiency and sustainability of water supply and management. The establishment of such innovative stakeholder models marks an important step towards future-oriented, adaptable and collaborative water infrastructures.



Ultra-efficient Factory

The project aims to create an optimally designed factory that has no environmental impact and in which the resources used are processed without loss. This means that the ultra-efficient factory can also produce in urban areas.



In »TransNIK«, drivers and obstacles for the development and dissemination of innovative sustainable approaches in the fields of energy, water, construction and housing are to be examined and key points for a transition to new solutions identified.


Morgenstadt Insights

Technical and organizational innovations and their rapid implementation are necessary for the sustainable development of cities. To this end, ten Fraunhofer Institutes have joined forces with local authorities and companies.