The transition of WRRF models to digital twin applications

Elena Torfs*, Niels Nicolaï, Saba Daneshgar, John B. Copp, Henri Haimi, David Ikumi, Bruce Johnson, Benedek B. Plosz, Spencer Snowling, Lloyd R. Townley, Borja Valverde-Pérez, Peter A. Vanrolleghem, Luca Vezzaro, Ingmar Nopens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Digital Twins (DTs) are on the rise as innovative, powerful technologies to harness the power of digitalisation in the WRRF sector. The lack of consensus and understanding when it comes to the definition, perceived benefits and technological needs of DTs is hampering their widespread development and application. Transitioning from traditional WRRF modelling practice into DT applications raises a number of important questions: When is a model's predictive power acceptable for a DT? Which modelling frameworks are most suited for DT applications? Which data structures are needed to efficiently feed data to a DT? How do we keep the DT up to date and relevant? Who will be the main users of DTs and how to get them involved? How do DTs push the water sector to evolve? This paper provides an overview of the state-of-the-art, challenges, good practices, development needs and transformative capacity of DTs for WRRF applications.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)2840-2853
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Data management
  • Hybrid models
  • Interoperability
  • Model predictive control
  • Online optimisation
  • Proactive management


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