Benefits of a smart water system
In this section we highlight benefits that smart water systems can deliver and their impact on livability, workability and sustainability..
Promoting water quality and reliability. Smart cities use ICT to protect the safety and reliability of their water supply. Remote sensors can detect impurities, protecting water supply from the intentional or unintentional introduction of contaminants. The affected areas can often be isolated automatically, preventing the spread. Meanwhile, the system alerts human operators so they can deploy repair crews to fix the problem.
Increasing resilience. Smart security measures help protect water infrastructure from external cyber threats. Video cameras and access cards can provide physical security. Automated fault management can ensure problems are found and dealt with before they affect a wide area. In a disaster scenario, analytics can immediately tell cities what equipment needs replacing, and can prioritize tasks for maintenance crews so water delivery is restored as quickly as possible.
Increasing customer choice and control. ICT can empower customers with information about when and where they are using water, plus tools to help them control that use. This allows them to change behavior and make trade-offs to lower their bills.
Reducing damaging floods and overflows. Full situational awareness informed by weather data helps cities see exactly where floods and overflows are occurring. Some systems can even predict floods in advance, so emergency crews can be dispatched in advance. Technology also allows cities to more effectively plan flood prevention efforts.
Saving energy on building cooling. Green roofs and other green water systems not only capture water for use before it enters a crowded sewer, they also serve to cool the buildings and streets and other infrastructure in which they are housed. This can save energy on building cooling while simultaneously reducing the dangerous urban heat island effect.
Increasing economic development. Smart water can differentiate a city in the competition for business and investment. Smart water is financially attractive to industrial consumers in particular, since they are often the largest users of a city water supply. Water-intensive businesses often decide whether to expand and where to relocate by looking first at a region’s water availability.
Lowering operational costs. ICT solutions can dramatically reduce costs for both water providers and customers. Cities can optimize their water infrastructure for efficiency, saving the cost of wasted resources and optimize maintenance. Advanced analytics, using data from smart water meters in homes and businesses can identify ways customers can reduce consumption and save on water bills.
Eliminating wasteful leaks. Smart water meters and sensors reduce water loss. Through situational awareness and automated fault management, water utilities can immediately identify and repair leaks and problems. Most cities that install smart water networks discover they have been losing at least 10% to leaks and percentages as high as 50% are not unusual.
Getting the maximum value from existing infrastructure. Building entirely new water systems is not an option for most cities. With ICT, cities can make their existing systems far more productive.
Harnessing the kinetic energy of water. Achieving an energy efficient water system to power and use ICT.