What is smart water management?

Water managers are facing growing challenges, including aging infrastructure, rising energy costs and growing populations. Smart water management helps solve these challenges through self-optimizing equipment and analytics that support proactive decisions.

Smart water management is a way to collect, share and analyze data from water equipment and water networks. It is used by water managers to find leaks, lower energy use, predict equipment failure, and ensure regulatory compliance.

Growing investment in smart water technology

Utilities are already starting to adopt smart water technologies, driven by the need to mitigate water scarcity, improve operations, and efficiently meet regulations.

Between now and 2024, utilities will invest $14 billion in smart water management. Already in 2017, over 260 smart water projects were announced around the world, with another 180 projects announced as of July 2018.

Although smart water solutions are relatively new, several studies have already shown that smart water technologies could save water utilities around the world $12.5 billion to $15 billion per year. These savings come through reductions in capital and operational expenditure.

Smart water management’s three main components

Smart water management involves connecting intelligent equipment, smart networks and digital solutions. These three components enable water utilities to find out exactly what is happening in their systems.

They also enable utilities to shift resources from expensive emergency interventions – such as infrastructure repairs, water quality alerts, or flood management – to data-driven, preventative maintenance.

1. Intelligent equipment
Intelligent equipment includes pumps, mixers, treatment technologies and sensors that can self-optimize to improve performance. This enables water managers to decrease the time and effort needed to monitor and maintain their equipment.

2. Smart networks
Smart networks collect information across several pieces of equipment to provide real-time, reactive management of the system. This enables water managers to remotely and continuously monitor operations.

3. Digital solutions
Digital solutions combine real-time data from equipment with algorithms to provide proactive management of the system. This enables water managers to conduct predictive maintenance, prevent sewage and stormwater overflows, and review asset conditions.

Case: How Thames Water uses smart water management

Thames Water is the largest water and wastewater utility in the UK, serving 15 million customers across London and the Thames Valley. The utility needed a better way to identify water loss and supply issues, such as non-revenue water.

The solution was to install smart meters with customers and make daily reports. As a result, Thames Water was able to quickly locate and repair water leaks. The solution also increased customer engagement, which led to a 13% decrease in water consumption.

How to become a smart water manager

To learn more about smart water management, and other successful cases from around the world, download Xylem’s new white paper:

The Smarter Water Manager: Smart Water Solutions for a Resilient Water Future

The white paper also presents an overview of Xylem’s portfolio of smart water technologies. Discover how Xylem’s intelligent solutions and global expertise can help you solve your complex water challenges.

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In Focus: Smart water technology and management

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