Key management issues in water management, such as strategic operational control, real-time network monitoring and consumer demand management are still routinely carried out separately. If all those aspects were considered in an integrated system, the overall performance would be improved and deployment costs reduced.

EFFINET is foreseen as the solution to offer utilities a centralized network management at all levels. It that takes advantage of advanced ICT technologies to enhance the efficiency of the management processes in water utilities in terms of water use, energy consumption, water loss minimization, and water quality guarantee.The challenge addressed by EFFINET is to transform a massive amount of data into decision support in real time.

While addressing this challenge, the EFFINET platform will also provide innovation in the fields of real-time optimal control, monitoring, and demand forecasting and management, that is applicable to a large class of drinking water networks.

For real-time monitoring, the baseline for the project will be the results of project I-SENSE, which addresses general problems of sensor placement and model -based diagnosis, as well as MOBESENS, which provided a modular and scalable integrated solution based on communication technologies for water quality monitoring.
Although this solution is applied to a river basin scale, certain aspects are potentially applicable to quality monitoring of drinking water networks.

For the strategic operational control, the baseline for the EFFINET project will be the results of the WIDE project, where the optimal operational control problem of the Barcelona system was tested off line, with fixed daily electricity tariffs (time varying during the day)Recent studies have proven the effectiveness of MPC for control of water networks. In particular, the effectiveness of decentralized and distributed MPC tools were demonstrated in the past FP7-ICT project WIDE, taking into account large-scale deterministic models of the entire network, and decomposing the resulting optimal control formulation for efficiency of computations, scalability, maintenance. On the other hand, management systems for water networks must necessarily cope with uncertainty, such as demand.