A Glasgow internet of things (IoT) firm has been awarded a European Space Agency contract to tackle global ‘water stress’.

Krucial will develop a cutting-edge, scalable water resilience monitoring solution for water availability and quality across the 100 most-populated river basins globally.

The tool will play a central role in efforts to create digital twins of these important water basins, where more than 3 billion people live.

The study is supported by the ESA through its Business Applications and Space Solutions (BASS) Programme. 

The contract award, which is yet to be disclosed, comes following the initiative launched by ESA in 2023 in partnership with CEO Water Mandate’s Water Resilience Coalition (WRC), called Digitising Water Resilience – Acting on Water Stress in Basins. 

Allan Cannon, co-founder and CEO of Krucial, said: “This project has the potential to improve the lives of billions of people, using the latest space and analytics technology to benefit water basins across every corner of the globe by enabling data-led interventions and practices. Without access to the insights that our combined solution will provide, it is impossible to take the necessary steps to tackle water stress, and I’m extremely proud that Krucial is leading the fight against climate change on multiple fronts.

“I’m confident that the end solution will be a game-changer for policymakers, businesses and communities as we face ever-increasing stress in freshwater supply. With backing from the European Space Agency and some of the biggest companies on earth, we have the chance to achieve something truly transformative for the planet.”

Krucial, which recently raised further funding of $3.7M, will lead a consortium including, SAS, a leader in data and artificial intelligence (AI), Deep Planet, an agri-tech startup and AI specialist, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), a public research institution focused on agriculture and life sciences and the University of Strathclyde.

The study has also received support from Jacobs, Clean International and Lovexair Foundation.

The consortium will develop a cutting-edge water-resilience monitoring and analysis solution. It will combine multiple data sets including in-situ ground sensor data, weather data and space-based data, moving this data from river basins to a cloud-computing platform via Krucial’s hybrid connectivity technology. 

The data analytics platform – powered by AI and internet of things (IoT) analytics from SAS – will analyse water levels and water quality for the Earth’s 100 most populous river basins. The platform will make this information continuously available to policymakers, scientists, businesses and government agencies. With it, they can make better decisions about managing water resources.