As water increasingly becomes one of the world’s most precious resources, ATi UK’s new Technical Performance and Data Analyst, Derek Leslie, discusses how water companies across the globe can provide effective and efficient management of drinking water through the use of data and advanced analytics technology.
For years, water quality monitoring has essentially been limited to sensors and analysers that are mains powered and installed at a limited number of fixed assets, all of which have been dependent on time-consuming carbon-expensive grab samples. More often this has been performed by default through customers complaint calls.
At the same time, many water companies have traditionally considered smart water as a solution for just metering and collecting revenue. The truth is that newer, smaller, lower powered technologies, together with combined IP that generates high quality data and uses IoT, is transforming traditional systems into smart distribution networks, giving operators access to intelligence and insights they’ve never had before.
Big data and analytics technology are helping to harness the explosion of data coming from a growing number of resources. This means water companies are benefiting from early indications of abnormal consumption, reliable fault detection to determine when there is a leak or water waste, and optimised customer interactions.
A truly smart distribution network is one that goes beyond the meter to provide greater compliance and demonstrate true return on investment (ROI), acting in a proactive, rather than reactive, way. It can reduce leakage by 15%, build greater resilience; create better customer experience; improve CRI; increase optimisation and improved asset life; reduce the risk to water security; and decrease the overall carbon footprint.
To achieve true Totex of smart water, we should aim for a significant drive in multi-technology, innovative solutions. If you take pressure, flow, acoustic transient and water quality and put all the data onto one unified platform, it allows water companies to prescribe a pattern recognition and analytics package that addresses the insight required to manage the “pain”.
In the future, ATi UK expects predictive algorithms to help utilities better plan for demand and better manage resources. If water companies came together with a list of where the pain is, work with existing supply chain partners and apply trusted technologies in a unified way, utilities will gain insight on how to prescribe a solution. By doing this, the industry might finally achieve a complete totex solution.