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Make drinking water dependent on data engineers

'By making the opportunities and risks of certain options measurable with available data and scenarios, it is possible to arrive at a more well-founded (strategic) decision-making process, enabling water boards to remain even more focused in their role.' - says Kees-Jan van Vliet, partner at Boer & Croon.

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The emergence of drinking water scarcity is a real danger. In order to monitor their own performance, water boards are receiving enormous amounts of data. Water boards are aware of this and in recent years have invested heavily in targeted data management and scenario development. However, translating these data and scenarios into data-driven decision-making is still a point for attention.

Real-option theory as a tool

Grounded decision-making
A good tool here is the real-option theory. This is a model that comes from the world of strategic management and is used by multinationals in life sciences and resource extraction, among others. Its strength is that you value opportunities and risks by reducing them to a corporate finance model. By making the opportunities and risks of certain options measurable with available data and scenarios, it is possible to come to a better-founded (strategic) decision-making, allowing water boards to continue to fulfill their role in a more targeted way.


Monitoring water quality

Core tasks
The core tasks of the water boards are monitoring water quality, managing water volumes and treatment plants. Failure to meet the environmental targets set out in the European Water Framework Directive can have major consequences for the licensing of companies that abstract or discharge water.