The Water, Peace and Security Partnership (WPS), headquartered in the Netherlands, is developing something extremely novel and beneficial. A project that consists of an early warning tool based on artificial intelligence, with the intention of being able to track vital liquid supplies around the world.
The idea is to combine social, demographic and economic data with which they will be able to detect water wars at least a year before they start. This will definitely allow us to take the necessary measures to prevent them.
According to WPS, during tests the system was able to predict more than three quarters of the water wars in the Republic of Mali, West Africa. So the organization hopes to have the tool up and running worldwide by the end of this year.
Machine learning and big data tool to act on water wars
Susanne Schmeier, of the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education and who heads the WPS, comments:
“We want to detect conflicts early enough to engage in a dialogue process to help address them. The ideal is to mitigate or resolve conflicts.”
And, although previous attempts to predict crises have failed, all because the causes of such conflicts are often very varied and locally specific. The WPS says this particular tool represents a major breakthrough in terms of remote sensing, machine learning and big data processing to provide the alerts.
Data from NASA and European Space Agency satellites, which monitor water resources worldwide, are then used. It then cross-checks them with data from governments, international agencies and research organizations, and this will give the hotspots of potential water wars.
Charles Iceland of the World Resources Institute, who is also working on the development of the tool, said:
“Machine learning is able to detect patterns in data that humans cannot.”
He further added:
“The early warning system serves as a prioritization tool.
We can determine the most agitated points, the places you have to deal with immediately. compared to other places that may be simmering or well.”
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