Water and Wastewater: Page 4 of 12

Wed, 2015-10-28 22:55 -- Jon DeKeles
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2. Accurately measure what is consumed. Smart water meters can give customers highly accurate records of their consumption while also helping utilities spot
“non-revenue water” (NRW) that is being lost to defective equipment, leaks and theft.

3. Monitor drinking water quality. A smart water system can have sensors placed strategically throughout the network to detect contaminants. Those sensors can monitor the acidity and alkalinity, watch for biological indicators, measure chlorine and other chemicals and watch for heavy metals, then alert human operators when problems arise so they can intervene quickly to mitigate threats.

4. Present, perfect and predict conditions. Using data from the first two examples above, a smart water system can present current conditions to give operators full situational awareness; perfect the system by optimizing it; and predict leaks, floods and equipment failures. “Utilities can achieve better operations through better knowledge and tighter control of the network’s extensive and complex assets,” explains the Smart Water Network Forum. Modern “dashboards” and tools can “improve the efficiency, longevity and reliability of the underlying physical water network by better measuring, collecting, analyzing and acting upon a wide range of events.”

5. Make better use of diffuse and distributed non-traditional water resources through recapture, recycling and reuse and through better planning. Water is so much broader than pipes and treatment plants. Rain falls everywhere – on our rooftops. Into our soil, gardens and grass. On our roads. This water can all be captured and put to use with the help of ICT. Instrumentation diffused into these “green water systems” can store water, while advanced analytics are critical to managing this distributed resource. You can have the insight to understand where your green water systems are, how they are performing and how the water they capture can be best deployed.

6. Better prepare for storms. Some parts of the world – North America for instance – must confront challenging water quality and storm water regulations. And many parts of the world are faced with flooding that is reaching new extremes. Smart water systems not only monitor flooding, they can predict events in time to prepare for flood control and disaster management.

7. Harness the energy and nutrient resources in water and wastewater. ICT helps us capture the full potential of water. Beyond its own value as a scare resource, water systems house nutrients and even energy. Technology enables us to reduce and recapture excess kinetic energy in water supply piping utilizing it to power sensors, recover energy and nutrients in wastewater, and avoid the damaging dumping of nutrients into carefully balanced ecosystems.