Water Innovation of the Month: The Benefits of Digital Water Solutions – More Than Just AMI

data systems

Water and sewage problems are universal and often overlooked. However, factors like drought, limited resources, water pollution, and outdated infrastructure are now impacting people worldwide. As conservation efforts and infrastructure updates become more crucial, utilities are increasingly embracing innovative solutions. Digital water emerges as a solution to many of these problems and delivers a transformative impact.

Improved water usage data has the potential to completely change the way utilities manage their water resources. By understanding their system efficiency in a detailed and comprehensive way, utilities harness the power to make informed decisions about how to stretch water supplies to meet growing demands. And, as the true cost of providing clean water becomes more apparent, utilities gain the capacity to more accurately price water consumers, potentially leading to lower overall consumption. With the addition of hydraulic modeling, utilities can simulate the effect of infrastructure changes on system efficiency and service level. For example, by inputting a new land development into the model, a utility can see the impact of increased service area on water consumption and make decisions on how to strategically respond, such as by increasing supply capacity or implementing demand-side measures.

Sensus smart city

At this point in time, there are countless applications of this technology, and the information can be applied in many ways. In most cases it will be a replacement of some existing method, monitoring equipment and recording data. The key distinction lies in the ease of access and storage within a database – a more streamlined approach compared to traditional spreadsheet methods – resulting in more robust and precise information. This holds true whether it’s integrated into a control system environment (where the data available will be more detailed and accurate) or leveraged by companies currently using simulation for decision making, as plant data can be applied directly to models. Step changes in technology can also be justified using this information, as the value of taking a technology step forward can be quantified with before and after comparisons.

Recording and storing data is a fundamental part of any system enabling analysis that can uncover valuable information and lead to informed decision making. Since this technology provides a method of monitoring and controlling different types of equipment, it presents an opportunity to acquire valuable information on efficiency of a process – information that is critical for continuous improvement. All this information can be directly fed into simulation models for more complex analysis at a future time.

In conclusion, the digital transformation of the water industry is an inevitable and promising shift that holds vast potential for utility value. Digital water solutions present utilities with various new and impactful strategies to help navigate an increasingly complex operating environment. As the pressure on utilities increases and the need to do more with less becomes mandatory, the value proposition of digital solutions will become too strong to ignore. Smart water meters, AI and advanced analytics are paving the way for innovative software platforms to optimize decision-making in real-time.

Sensus a Xylem Brand

By selecting the appropriate solution path to tackle their unique challenges, utilities will gain new access to powerful new tools capable of significantly improving performance and reducing costs. The key for unlocking the full potential of these technologies lies in dismantling operational silos to foster integrated decision-making and deciding between customizing one-off improvements or fundamentally changing the way the utility operates. While the Justification of the Digital Value Proposition (JDVP) will vary for each utility, the rapid acceleration of technology development and proven benefits from early adopters indicate it is time for all utilities to plot their course on the digital solution journey.

Learn more at xylem.com/sensus.

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