Frequently Asked Questions
Questions and answers to everything you need know about contributing to and browsing the Baltic Smart Water Hub!
For the yet unanswered questions, please send us a message via the Feedback form.
Frequently Asked Questions
Think of the Water Hub as a tool for smart information exchange. Here we can share our experiences with other cities in the Baltic Sea Region to exchange good practices and smart ideas that proved to be effective and applicable in our region.
With crises like COVID-19, we might be limited in our travels, and our opportunities for direct networking can be limited. In these circumstances, it is of utmost importance to have an online platform not to substitute, but to complement the face-to-face interaction.
Baltic Smart Water Hub presents its content divided into four water areas: fresh water, sea water, stormwater and wastewater. This is done to organize and simplify the process of finding relevant cases through the system. When submitting a case to the Hub, you can select the water area, for which your solution is relevant; or several water areas if needed (f.ex. when a tool is marked for applicability in both for storm- and wastewater management sectors it will be displayed in both areas on the platform).
Examples of topics taken up under each water area are listed not to limit, but to inspire sharing knowledge and experience:
- Fresh water: production and treatment of drinking water, river basin management, lake restoration;
- Sea water: marine litter, coastal area management, maritime sector and clean shipping;
- Stormwater: quality requirements and treatment, integrated sustainable models for cities, flooding prevention;
- Wastewater: advanced treatment methods, municipal and industrial sources, elimination of microplastics and pharmaceuticals, nutrient management, turning wastewater into resource.
Baltic Smart Water Hub is oriented towards a wide Baltic Sea Region community interested in smart water sector. Water companies and water associations, relevant departments of local authorities can share their experience or find practical solutions to common infrastructural or managerial challenges. For local authorities particularly the Hub can be a place to demonstrate their excellence and forerunning potential in the water sector!
We also welcome input from private companies producing clean-tech and innovative water-related solutions to create a space of open competition. However, when submitting a case to the Hub, please keep in mind that all solutions should be piloted in the Baltic Sea Region in order to get published on the platform. Example of piloting on site not only ensures that a solution is applicable in the region, but also allows contacting practitioners from the site for more information.
Representatives of academia, as well as students from the relevant fields can also find the Hub useful: cases published on the Hub are recent and are regularly updated to provide relevant examples and contacts.
Moreover, NGOs and other initiatives and foundations working in the water sector are invited to browse the Hub to find examples of solutions implemented in the region, new contacts and networks to cooperate with, expertise in water-related fields and many other benefits!
Baltic Smart Water Hub provides three types of cases: good practices, technical solutions and tools.
Good practices illustrate processes of implementing investments, piloting or innovative solutions. Good practice describes the setting of the practice implementation, the process and result of its launch. You can learn how much did it costs, where the funding came from and what organizations or companies were involved in the implementation process – and be able to contact them for more information. Good practice can be published as one case or can also include one or several technical solutions separately elaborated and published as Hub cases.
Technical solutions describe specific technologies that can be used to improve certain process or solve a specific problem. From a technical solution description you can learn how it functions, what prerequisites are needed, approximate cost. Technical solutions should always have an example of piloting or testing in the Baltic Sea Region to ensure transferability and relevance of the case. Tools are self-standing instruments that can be downloaded or reached through the source and immediately applied by the end users.
Tools on the Hub are always free and open to use. If tools have a piloting site or results of systematic application available, those can be described as good practices.
Innovations highlight new technologies and approaches with high potential but no final results or financial analysis yet. These cases introduce laboratory and pilot scale testing results.
When submitting a case, sometimes it might be challenging to distinguish between Good practices and Technical solutions. The general assumption is that good practices are more complex than single solutions and, unlike the latter, might comprise of several components. For example, installing a mobile incineration unit or upgrading filters in a drinking water system would be considered technical solutions, while developing stormwater management model or implementing complex methods of river restoration would represent good practices on the Hub.
Before publishing, all cases are reviewed by the Hub team. If your case description would rather fit another category, we will get in touch to make sure we include all possible information about your useful example of smart water operation and management!
First, you fill a submission form for a good practice, technical solution, tool, innovation or send an application form to become an expert. When describing a case, please include all crucial details so that other users could grasp the idea and general technological process behind it. Remember also to think about a smart name of your case: the length is limited to ~100 characters with spaces, try to make it catchy simultaneously reflecting the idea behind the solution!
After you press the submit button, Baltic Smart Water Hub quality control team receives a notification about a new entry to the Hub. You will receive an email when the reviewing process starts.
If the quality control team needs more information to present your case in a most attractive, complex and comprehensive way, you will receive another email with the questions from the team. We reserve the right to make small adjustments for the better coherence and uniform outlook of the submitted case. For significant questions, we get in contact with the submitter of the case. When the quality control team decides the case is ready to be uploaded, they publish it on the Hub – you will receive the email with the notification about it and the link to your case. If you have further questions about the submission process or any other Hub features, please contact us at info(at)balticwaterhub.net.
There are no strict limitations that we could apply for the whole variety of cases posted on the Hub. Nevertheless, we are happy to provide you with general criteria and guidelines on presenting your case in a most attractive and useful way:
- The case should be launched, piloted or applicable in the Baltic Sea Region
Baltic Smart Water Hub is strongly focused on the Baltic Sea and its catchment area, which is why all cases published on the platform should have an example of application in one of the countries of this region.
In case a solution that you wish to publish was developed somewhere else,please include an example of piloting/testing/replicating this solution in the Baltic Sea Region. Such example not only ensures that a solution will be applicable in the region, as it would have been made for similar geographical, economic, cultural and climate conditions, but it also allows interested parties contacting practitioners from the piloting site for more information about the implementation process, its benefits or possible bottlenecks.
- The description of the case should be comprehensive and practical
Baltic Smart Water Hub presents cases in a uniform manner, emphasizing practical and technical details of the implementation process. Please describe the initial setting, development and implementation of a practice or solution as precisely as possible, including numbers and figures, photos and schemes if applicable.
When selecting content of cases to be published on the Hub, we focus not on the projects that funded and organized launching of a solution, but rather on the technological process of developing viable and sustainable operation models, setting up new equipment, or elaborating new approaches to effective management.
- The case should include contact details
We hope that the cases published on the Hub will inspire people to learn more about them or even replicate them locally. To ensure the possibility of smooth knowledge transfer, we kindly ask to include in the case description all possible contacts – not only to those who implemented the case, but also all those relevant parties that were involved in the process of developing and launching the case on various stages.
- The description of the case should be in English
Yes, that was quite obvious, but we thought to point that out. The Hub operates only in English to allow everyone in the Baltic Sea Region access the information collected on smart water management and operation.
Yes. Quality control allows us to review the submitted cases before publishing them to ensure high quality of the provided practices and solutions, their transferability and sustainability. Moreover, it helps us to provide an overall uniform outlook for all Hub cases.
The process goes like this: after you fill a submission form for a good practice, technical solution, tool, or send an application form to become an expert, the quality control team receives a notification about a new entry to the Hub. They check the submitted content and either publish it directly or contact the sender for more details if further elaboration of the case is needed. We reserve the right to make small adjustments for the better coherence and uniform outlook of the submitted case. For significant questions, we get in contact with the submitter of the case.
Quality control is performed by the nominated team of experts (currently, representatives from Technical University of Berlin and University of Tartu).
Baltic Smart Water Hub involves experts in the water sector, who devote their time and expertise to support smart water community. Providing interactive expertise is in the core of the Hub, and experts can have various functions on the platform.
- Contribution with knowledge and opinions. Every professional with a background in the water sector can apply to become a Hub expert through the submission form. Being awarded with the title, an expert is welcome to contribute to the Water Blog as an open space to discuss topical matters in the water sector: regional or local trends, current challenges or recent innovative ideas to highlight for the water community! Experts can also support expanding the database of the Hub cases and update or contribute to the section of Hub Resources. Experts express personal opinions, which might not necessarily reflect the view of the platform.
Users of the Hub are equally encouraged to communicate with experts and, if needed, leave comments under published cases when more information or explanation is required on a particular topic.
The expertise to be provided is discussed with the organizations owning and running the Hub: UBC Sustainable Cities and, currently, representatives from Technical University of Berlin and University of Tartu.
- Quality control. A nominated team of experts (currently, representatives from Technical University of Berlin and University of Tartu) reviews the submitted cases before publishing them to ensure high quality of the provided practices and solutions, their transferability, sustainability and overall uniform outlook for the Hub content.
Absolutely! One of the aims of the Baltic Smart Water Hub is to disseminate outputs and results of national, cross-border and transnational projects in the water field that were launched and implemented in the Baltic Sea Region to expand their outreach to the target audience and to ensure durability of the developed products.
So, we strongly encourage all organizations working with projects to use the Hub and spread the achievements further in the region!
Baltic Smart Water Hub itself was launched and developed in the framework of two consequent transnational projects IWAMA (Interactive Water Management) and BSR WATER (Platform on Integrated Water Cooperation) implemented with financial support from Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme.
The section Resources can be reached via the main menu of the Baltic Smart Water Hub. This section includes possible supporting information that doesn’t apply to practical cases directly: networks functioning in the region, available funding, legislation influencing the sector, and other.
Networks section allows familiarizing with various organisations and initiatives functioning in the Baltic Sea Region, as well as Europe- and world-wide with the aim to improve the water sector. Listed entities actively work on improving the state of the water and engage in transnational cooperation. You can check it for more targeted expertise, opinions or to find new project partners.
Funding section presents general information about different funding programmes operating in the countries of the Baltic Sea Region. Most of the funding sources, which are provided as examples on this page, have been applied in the good practices showcased in the Hub. The funding overview can give an idea on the funding sources existing in the region, availability of funding for specific project scopes.
Policy Framework section lists and links relevant directives and legislative acts regulating and influencing the water management sphere in the Baltic Sea Region. You are welcome to browse through that section to check the regional requirements to fulfil and get inspired to upgrade local water operation and management systems – or, perhaps, share your results with others!
Events calendar presents water-related events happening around the Baltic Sea Region. You are most welcome to share details about relevant conferences, workshops or webinars!