The city of Antwerp will place sensors and intelligent controllers in all of its 47 fountains. Their main purpose is to reduce water and energy usage. The project is one of 18 ‘smart innovations’ selected by the Flemish government for support. The Flemish minister of innovation annually awards 5 million euros to progressive projects in the Flemish public sector. The Antwerp fountains are the most striking examples this year.
As a secondary function, the sensor system can also control the water quality. This could reduce the number of manual interventions and malfunctions – reportedly, out-of-order fountains are a big frustration for the inhabitants of Antwerp. Furthermore, the technology is said to be able to adapt to weather conditions, technical malfunctions and the presence or absence of visitors.
Next to the fountains, 17 other projects will get their share of the annual 5 million euros in government funding. Examples are a financial model for affordable and sustainable residences in Ghent and the digitalization of gift cards in Mechelen.