Utilities, partners collaborate on industry-first digital twin readiness guide  

A diverse group of global utilities, solution providers, academia and thought leaders have developed a groundbreaking Digital Twin Readiness Guide, the first-of-its-kind roadmap for digital twin implementation to advance the water industry.

Spearheaded by the SWAN Forum, Brown and Caldwell, DHI, and with contributions from numerous partners, the zero-cost guide was launched recently at the 2022 SWAN Annual Conference. At its core, the guide applies SWAN’s state-of-the-art digital twin architecture, the water industry standard for planning and implementing digital twins.

The SWAN Digital Twin Utility Advisory Group, consisting of representatives from Global Omnium, Sydney Water, Aarhus Vand, Clean Water Services, and DC Water, hailed the guide’s potential:

“As leading utilities, we believe the SWAN Digital Twin Readiness Guide can transform the water sector by enabling utilities and the industry to understand the foundation of a Digital Twin as they embark on or continue their implementation journey.”

A digital twin is a real-time digital counterpart of a physical object or process. Akin to an airplane’s co-pilot, digital twin uses analytical and predictive modeling to speed up and validate decision-making to automate time-consuming and manual engineering or operator processes.

Benefits to utilities include better prediction and preparedness for seasonal or climate-driven condition changes, asset and operational health analysis for investment optimization, and what-if scenario simulations for safer training environments.

While digital twin implementation is unique to each utility, deployment steps are foundational to achieving optimized, cost-efficient water and wastewater systems. Digital twin readiness is scalable, iterative, and likely phased over time, depending on the utility’s unique needs, budget, infrastructure and software requirements.

The Digital Twin Readiness Guide provides the framework, steps, and path to achieve essential insights leading to more intuitive water systems operations, making the utility more efficient. Global case studies detailing the successful implementation of SWAN’s digital twin architecture are included in the guide. Projects include a Singapore-based water reclamation plant, an urban drainage project for Denmark’s largest wastewater utility, and several water treatment and network projects in Spain and Italy.

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