Integrated Municipal Water Management System in rural settings

Implementation period

September 2015- March 2016

Scope of work

Digital technology


This project has been funded by the national programme for clusters support “Ayudas a Agrupaciones Empresariales Innovadoras” (AEIs).


47% of municipalities in Spain have less than 500 inhabitants. Accordingly, in 2014, a group of ZINNAE partners came together to study the needs, study feasibility and propose the design of a water management tool to improve the control and efficiency of the municipal water service in those areas that do not have specialised technical staff, i.e. most of the municipalities with less than 500 inhabitants. For the first time in the design of a tool for the water sector, the user perspective is taken into account so that in addition to the technical, legal and environmental requirements, requirements established by the main people responsible for the municipal management of the water cycle in small towns have been added.

The tool helps both technical management and communication between the different actors in the cycle (from inhabitants to supra-municipal agents), helping to reduce costs, improving the quality of service, compliance with the law, decision-making and transparency and allowing continuous improvement of the process. This solution aims to support this type of municipality’s sustainable development, which is essential for structuring the territory.

This project is a continuation of the previous one. It aims to implement a prototype of the SIGMA (Integrated Municipal Water Management System) tool for rural environments, implementing it in an Aragonese region.


SIGMA aims to improve the management of the urban water cycle in small non-technician population centres through the development and demonstration in the pilot region of an information platform that integrates supply, distribution and sanitation, designed from the users’ perspective and based on free software. The general objectives of the project are the following:

  • Contribute to compliance with current water regulations.
  • Contribute to the development of transparent governance systems about the costs and revenues for water services and that there are adequate economic incentives to prevent pollution and promote efficient water use.
  • Rationalise the costs of managing the urban water cycle, facilitating joint management and operation.
  • Sharing information with the agents involved in the urban water cycle: citizens, administration and/or professionals.
  • One of the main results of the previous project is the minimum common scenario for all municipalities that must be resolved.


Given the results, the scope of this project has been:

  • Implement innovative technology to set up the platform modules, namely basic tank level, flow sensors, and smart reading devices (meters).
  • Implement a SIGMA prototype based on the essential modules described below.
  • Generate information that contributes to efficient water management decision-making of an environmental, economic and social nature.