Ouadi 4.0 : Artificial intelligence at the service of wadi surveillance

The objective of the project « Ouādi 4.0 » is to strengthen the resilience of the African city in the face of the risk of violent flooding. In charge of flood monitoring in the project territory, the Sebou Water Basin Agency, one of the largest basin agencies in Morocco, will deploy on the city of Fez the latest innovations of TENEVIA for the monitoring of rivers through digital.

Led by TENEVIA, the Ouadi 4.0 project is carried out in partnership with the French company CENEAU, specialized in the installation of hydrometric sensors and the Moroccan engineering office SAGE Expertise, expert in hydraulics and hydrology of wadis of the kingdom.

Winner of the call for projects entitled « innovative solutions for sustainable cities » in Africa, the Ouādi project is funded and supported by the French Treasury Directorate and the the Sebou Water Basin Agency.

Fez : historic city supplied in water by the Atlas Mountains

Cultural capital of the kingdom, the emblematic city of Fez is the second largest city in the country in terms of population (more than one million inhabitants). A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fez (like many cities around the Mediterranean) can be subjected to extreme rainfall that can lead to heavy flooding. Major events, the floods of 26 September 1950 and 13 October 1989 marked the memory of the Fassis.

As the receptacle of water drains from the Atlas mountains upstream from the City, Fez is crossed by several Wadis, rivers that are intermittent usually dry but can occasionally concentrate extreme water volumes.

In order to support better operational management of these flood phenomenon in the territory, the various actors of the project are currently carrying out a study that aims the validation of the information collected on the hydrological behaviour of the various catchment areas. At the end of this first stage, the consortium of partners will deploy a flood forecasting model that can be adjusted in real time, coupled with a network of sensors. This instrumentation phase will consist of the deployment of smart cameras for the measurement and monitoring of the water levels and flows of the wadi and the reinforcement of the rain gauge network already installed by the Basin Agency. At the end of the project, the agents and experts of the basin agency will be trained in the maintenance of the installed equipment but also in the exploitation of the forecast data from the TENEVIA HydroCore model and more generally in hydrometry by image analysis thanks to the gauging software TENEVIA FlowSnap.

The Sebou Water Basin Agency, a major player in water management in Morocco

Under the supervision of the Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water, the main missions of the Sebou Water Basin Agency are especially:

– To undertake, in partnership with the administration, public institutions and local authorities, the implementation of the actions required for flood prevention and protection;

– To carry out the measurements, investigations and studies necessary for the monitoring of the evolution of

  • The preservation and management of water resources in quantitative and qualitative terms
  • The prevention of the effects of extreme weather events, including floods and drought.

The Sebou Water Basin Agency is thus the public organization in charge of managing the river system that directly impacts the historical city of Fez. With more than 2,000 agents spread over its territory, Sebou Water Basin Agency administers the second most populated catchment area of the kingdom, with about 7.6 million inhabitants, or 21.3% of the total Moroccan population.