Waternomics: Serving diverge user needs under a single water information platform.

Christos Kouroupetroglou, Jesse van Slooten, Eoghan Clifford, Daniel Coakley, Edward Curry, Sander Smit, Domenico Perfido

Thursday 2 july 2015

14:20 - 14:35h at North America (level 0)

Themes: (T) Special session, (ST) FP7 ICT and water

Parallel session: 12I. Special session: FP7 ICT and water

WATERNOMICS is a water information platform that aims to raise awareness about efficient water management using ICT to provide users with insightful and actionable data. This paper discusses the user needs that 3 different types of users have from a water information platform. In particular, during the early stages of development of the WATERNOMICS platform we have prepared and conducted a set of focus groups and user tests with users from the WATERNOMICS pilot sites. These pilot sites are quite divergent in terms of types of users of the information platform. The first pilot is an airport where, managers, employees and related business managers need to have access to the airport’s water information in a way that supports decision making. The second pilot will be conducted in the municipality of Thermi and will increase the awareness of participating households regarding their water consumption and give key information that can empower them to manage their water consumption more efficiently. Finally, the third pilot is to be conducted on the university and secondary school buildings of NUIG. Users in that environment include both managers and students. Apart from efficient water management within the school environment, this pilot will also exploit how children can transfer their increased awareness to their parents and in turn help them reduce water consumption. After conducting an initial set of focus groups with users from all pilot sites, we compiled a list of features requested by the users and prepared some paper prototypes of an information platform that can serve each of these stakeholders in turn. These prototypes were then presented to the users in an attempt to capture how they respond to various design alternatives and which is the best way to implement specific features. In this paper, we present our findings in terms of commonalities and differences in the needs and preferences of this diverge group of users. Based on these findings we also propose a unified approach in fulfilling those needs, through a common water information platform. Discussions also include the benefits and challenges associated with such an approach and how the WATERNOMICS platform aims to exploit the benefits and address the challenges.