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WaX – Joint project ZwillE

Digital twin for AI-supported management of extreme water events in urban areas


Hydrological extreme situations are increasing worldwide. They lead to economic and environmental damages and require new approaches for the management of the water sector.
The aim of the collaborative project ZwillE is to develop methods and tools for the creation of a Digital Twin of an urban drainage infrastructure as a basis for pro-active management of extreme weather events in urban areas.
In this context, the term “digital twin” refers to a virtual image that reflects the current state of the mapped system on the basis of measured data and simulation models and enables a predictive scenario analysis by including forecasts of the most important influencing factors such as precipitation data. The Digital Twin will use an AI-based assistant to provide recommended actions for preparedness and for dealing with extreme weather events. The proposed recommended actions will be transparently explained to the technical staff via an explainable AI approach to improve comprehensibility and acceptance.
The prototypical development and subsequent validation of the overall system is based on the example of the drainage infrastructure of the city of Hannover.

Work focus hydro & meteo

The main sub-objective for hydro & meteo is the derivation of flood information from existing prefabricated flood maps of fixed recurrence frequencies and from current precipitation, which are temporally and spatially variable and therefore require a mosaic of the existing maps to be created.
Such an approach has the advantage that lengthy 2D surface simulations to determine flood depths and flow paths can be performed off-line, allowing results to be derived quickly for real-time applications. Similarly, both measured and predicted events with spatially variable precipitation can then have their flooding impacts quickly estimated.

The second sub-goal is the connection of our SCOUT software to the process control system of the Stadtentwässerung Hannover. Thus, direct online data from the precipitation measurement of the city of Hannover are available and a very fast comparative evaluation of these data with radar measurements is possible.

Network partners

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The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the joint project “ZwillE – Digital Twin for AI-supported Management of Water Extreme Events in Urban Areas” for the funding measure “Water Extreme Events (WaX)” as part of the federal program “Water: N”. Water: N is part of the BMBF strategy “Research for Sustainability (FONA).
Project duration: 02/2022 – 01/ 2025
Total funding volume: €2.453 million