Water Networks Challenge

The objective of this challenge is to create a mobile application capable of supporting the preventive maintenance of water and sewage networks, answering fully and autonomously to questions asked by the user in natural language. The answer, combining natural language and graphic visualization tools, must satisfy requests such as: “What are the pipelines at risk based on weather conditions and territory stability? Which ones might have a greater impact on users in the event of an accident? ". Information on weather and risk of infrastructure instability is provided by services based on the analysis of satellite data of the Copernicus program.

Read more

This video shall be considered as supplementary material on DECiSION, the platform to be used if you choose to take up the monitoring and assisted maintenance challenge.



The sewage collectors are made up of pipes of large diameter and depth, which is why they are strongly stressed by factors such as movements of surface strata or the dynamic loads of vehicular traffic. In conditions of high stress, they can generate subsidence or real structural collapses. The consequences can lead to the interruption of the service, the damage of infrastructures or buildings, exposing citizens to great inconvenience.


Satellite monitoring of sewage collector failures involves the use of SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) data provided by satellites for Earth observation. The information extracted from these data provides a cognitive picture of possible surface movements due to structural failure of the collector, concerning the area above the network and those immediately adjacent to it.


Knowledge of the network sections potentially affected by these instability phenomena allows to prevent potential damage to the above structures (roads, buildings, services) by detecting their movements when they have just started and the effects on the surface are still not visible.


This service provides:

  • Reduced costs and increased efficiency: optimizing inspection activities on the network, allowing the intervention teams to be concentrated in critical areas;

  • Continuous monitoring & frequent updates: it is based on satellite technologies capable of continuously monitoring the movements of the Earth's surface and the phenomena of subsidence;

  • Monitoring of the entire area: the use of satellite images allows you to monitor the entire area in which the water and sewage networks are distributed, allowing a global planning of maintenance and inspection services;

  • Ready-to-use information: after the detection of alerts following critical issues on a segment, reports are transferred to the technical teams that operate on the field, therefore they receive the information needed to operate quickly.


Funded under the Regione Puglia Innonetwork call, DECiSION (Data-drivEn Customer Service InnovatiON) is an industrial research project for the development of a customer service system, based on the analysis of big data made available by production companies and distribution of utilities or external providers. The DECiSION system was developed by a group of innovative companies and research bodies which are: Sud Sistemi, Planetek Italia, the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), the University of Bari "Aldo Moro", Plurima Software, Psyche At Work, Social Key and Evolware.


The project proposes an innovative solution in the field of Information Seeking Support Systems (ISSS). It is able to collect all the data involved in a decision-making process, and to process, categorise and make them available in a form useful for the ultimate purpose of user requests. DECiSION has the ability to understand natural language, allowing the interpretation of user requests and the identification of adequate information sources. From them, the system independently collects what it needs to accomplish the sensemaking task.

The ultimate goal is therefore to create an intelligent system able to answer fully and autonomously to questions asked by users in natural language regarding a specific domain of reference supporting their decision-making process.

The system is provided with algorithms for the interpretation and management of information and allows the synthesis of the answers automatically.


Rheticus® Network Alert uses RADAR satellite data processing to provide up-to-date and extremely detailed information on subsidence phenomena and on the instability of the Earth's surface in correspondence with the collector network, indicators of current problems (e.g. water leaks following breakages ). Thanks to its alert system, it is possible to plan inspections on location and maintenance, increasing efficiency and reducing management costs. Other services of the Copernicus program are made available to provide up-to-date information on weather, climate and other aspects of territorial relevance.