Questions frequently asked to BWI, and their answers (Q&A)

On this continuously updated page, BWI provides a Q&A of frequently asked questions to aid your research before discussing virtual station needs with our sales engineers. If you can’t find your answer, please contact us via the BWI form below, and we’ll respond soon.

Questions & Answers

Our 4-word pitch is: ‘BWI digitizes river basins‘.

As a provider of virtual stations anywhere on water bodies, BWI brings together data, hydraulic models, and machine learning to:
– deepen scientific knowledge in hydrology,
– to help businesses adapt to an era of climate change induced water stress,
– and to better predict water-related hazards such as floods, droughts and water pollution.

At BWI, a virtual station refers to a digitized measurement point located on a water body.

BWI gives their customers the capacity to create and monitor as many virtual stations as necessary without having to physically deploy ground stations, as part of their basin digitization projects.

Virtual stations may be deployed anywhere on the hydrographic networks covered by BWI.

Today, virtual stations have the ability to monitor and predict river discharge.

Tomorrow, BWI will also predict levels, volumes and quality of continental freshwater.

Please find how virtual stations compare to physical in-situ monitoring stations in the table below:

Sure! BWI uses the data sources described on this sketch:

 

BWI hydrological data sources

As far as data sources from space sensors are concerned, BWI uses multiple satellites with onboard sensors ranging from radars, altimeters, radiometers, and imagers. This variety of sensors allows BWI to retrieve earth observation parameters on terrain characterization, soil moisture, land use, precipitation estimation, and snow cover up to surface water quantity and surface water quality parameters.

BWI processes data as stated in the following flow chart.

 

BWI hydrological processing methodology

A set of different models are currently combined at BWI:  rainfall-runoff models for hydrological purposes, physical models to integrate meteorological parameters and machine learning algorithms to refine the results of previous models against the acceleration of climate change.

The acronym BWI stands for Blue Water Intelligence. Should be read ‘Blue; waterintelligence’ with waterintelligence as a tagline.

We commonly refer to the company as either BWI or as just ‘Blue’, and we like to call our talents ‘Bluers’.

In the way BWI conducts its business, it has become apparent that the company is guided by a set of 4 core values shared by all Bluers:

Meaning, as all talents who have decided to join BWI are here to make an impact on society, that is to say to work to offer solutions to a number of pressing problems. To name just a few of these pressing problems:
– understand the effects of climate change on the water cycle and contribute to science by sharing findings with the hydrological research community,
– help businesses and authorities adapt to climate change induced water stress,
– help the development of hydropower and inland waterway transportation to accelerate the transition to a low carbon society,
– evaluate inland water reserves,
– monitor surface water quality,
– in case of a water-related hazard, warn populations early to contribute to saving human lives.

Innovation and creativity in everything we do at BWI, particularly by promoting a culture in which each and everyone may be challenged, and is encouraged to challenge other people’s ideas. We at BWI pledge to take time to look at problems from radically different vantage points and come up with non-conventional solutions that will generally favor results and speed to trigger movement and change.

Global mindset, since the water crisis is everywhere and the stakes are universal. Which means our team has to reflect this global mindset: it is only by bringing together skills, cultures, experiences that will combine into something uniquely different, that BWI will be capable of coming up with solutions that will be applicable worldwide. This is the reason we at BWI will always favor diversity and inclusiveness over conservatism and business as usual.

– Excellence, as BWI wishes to work with the best talents, for the most demanding clients, for the most recognized suppliers and with the most prestigious stakeholders in general. So we at BWI not only want to continuously raise our own standards, but we also want to set the bar even higher so BWI grows together with their community.

Partially. Some of our basin digitization services are already operational and deployed at customers, but not all of them.

For example, BWI virtual stations have been delivering river discharge predictions in some countries – but not yet globally.

BWI is working on adding the new capabilities to virtual stations, namely: water levels of rivers and lakes, water volumes of water bodies, and water quality monitoring and forecasting.

BWI also enters new geographies on a case-by-case basis, so feel free to get in touch to give us a heads up and help us prioritize.

BWI basin digitization services are hosted in the European Union. BWI has chosen a French company named Scaleway as the provider of BWI’s server infrastructure.

Scaleway operates datacenters in Paris, France, but also in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and in Warsaw, Poland. BWI teams manage servers themselves.

Two of the major reasons BWI has chosen Scaleway is it’s easy to get support from Scaleway, and also Scaleway’s datacenters run on renewable energy exclusively, mainly coming from hydropower.

So at BWI, we like this circular way to reinforce the ecosystem.

No. We’re currently starting to work on raising funds for an MVP of 2 nano-satellites (550km inter-tracks, 48-hours revisit rate) aimed at validating all technical assumptions, and at starting to commercialize the data to the market.

This 2-strong MVP will be perfect ground base to raise further capital to launch a space infrastructure of 10 nano-satellites.

If you need water levels data ASAP, then there is an easy way for you to help us secure funding faster: please provide us with a commercially non-binding letter of interest, that would be of much help to showcase market interest to our investors.

Yes, BWI is always looking for the best talents to join the Blue team.

If you feel you’re the right fit, feel free to drop us a line.

Talents join BWI primarily for our mission: aiding authorities and companies adapt to climate change’s impact on water availability.

Additionally, BWI offers competitive packages, a flexible yet driven work environment, and a healthy work-life balance.

BWI’s run-of-river hydropower streamflow forecasting service is exclusively designed for run-of-river HPP operators, both small hydro and larger hydro – provided these remain run-of-river. This is why account creation isn’t publicly open, and the BWI team qualifies account creation requests.

HPPs that included dams as well as hydropower aggregators may also get in touch, but we’ll deliver to each of these segments another service (different features, different pricing) – still under development, but we’re most happy to recruit alpha users at this stage.

Hemeria, a 400-strong satellite platforms manufacturer born in 2019, and BWI, are two private companies incorporated in Toulouse, France.

BWI was founded by Hemeria Invest, a private holding company currently controlled by several European investors, and from its inception in June 2022, to January 2024, Hemeria Invests fully controlled BWI.

However, ever since BWI increased its capital in January 2024 for the first time since the company’s incorporation, Hemeria Invest has been holding less than 20% of BWI.

As a result, BWI and Hemeria are now independent from one another. The companies still share the same entrepreneurial spirit, and drive for excellence and innovation. 

No. BWI is a software vendor and a data provider, but not a hardware designer or manufacturer.

BWI has selected a number of in-situ sensor manufacturers from whom we purchase equipments as part of our internal validation network of instruments.

BWI is a client in the physical ground measurement industry, not a competitor or supplier.

We’ve established our own ground measurement stations for R&D to refine our algorithms and validate data.

We’re keen to connect with equipment providers worldwide.

However, we don’t set up physical stations for clients; we offer virtual station subscriptions without physical instruments.

No. BWI’s focus is in monitoring the quantitative and qualitative parameters related to inland surface water. Subterranean waters and surface waters are obviously linked in many ways, but BWI isn’t looking at the former.

Whilst near real-time and 1-day hydrological forecasts computed by BWI can be considered accurate, 10-day hydrological forecasts are not yet satisfactory. BWI is working hard on bettering long continental freshwater forecasts, as well as on providing clients with a continuously updated BWI data accuracy index, so the precision of the hydrological algorithm becomes transparent.

No, BWI isn’t a consultancy and doesn’t perform consulting engagements as the company isn’t staffed and organized to do so.

When a consulting mission is needed, BWI prefers to partner with consultants, or to recommend consultancies to clients.

This way,  Bluers remain focused on providing subscription-based basin digitization services and BWI keeps its customers happy by sending them the best experts.

With monthly subscriptions, you could test BWI services for a small fee, but, precisely because this would be a small fee, there could not be free trials. BWI offers a 30-day free trial of our hydrology services. Subscribers commit to at least a year, ensuring an immersive basin digitization experience. The one-year minimum is technical: our machine learning-based river forecasts need weeks to months to optimize accuracy depending on various factors.

BWI regrets your departure and values your feedback for future improvements. If you subscribed without a 1-month trial and are within the first month of a yearly subscription, we’ll cancel it and refund you after one month. If you started with a trial, please cancel via the BWI interface to prevent auto-renewal and charges.

Assuming the water body of interest to you belongs to a watershed represented on a hydrographical network, then BWI will be able to monitor and forecast surface water parameters for this water body.

Yes, as BWI hydrological predictions are designed to operate globally. If you need surface water monitoring and forecasting for a specific region not yet covered by BWI, drop us a line so we may work on a route to expand service coverage to your area of interest. BWI virtual stations may be deployed anywhere on Earth, including in ungauged basins.

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