The idea of smart water technology is expanding every day because it's provides a wide range of solutions for utilities and their customers. The rise of IoT sensors connected with the Internet allows for quality control specialists to make adjustments to utility operations as needed. And beyond smart water meters helping consumers reduce the costs of their bills, they also help utilities avoid unnecessary losses.
What Smart Water Management (SWM) Means
Smart water management consists of monitoring, controlling and regulating usage of water resources. It also provides data around the performance of equipment, such as pipes and pumps.
Many cities' main water source is located outside their city limits, creating barriers to tracking usage. But smart water technology allows utility managers to measure water storage levels in surrounding lakes or other bodies of water. Also, as it's possible that water demand in the agriculture industry may exceed supply by 40 percent by 2030, it's important for utilities to measure supply accurately.
How Smart Water Treatment Improves Quality
Smart water systems can provide data through various water disinfection treatment phases. An IoT sensor, for example, can deliver metrics for hydraulic modeling at a water plant, providing insights into things such as levels of volume, quality, and pressure. Water quality should be a top priority since over 80 percent of the world's wastewater is untreated and deadly.
Measuring Water Delivery
Conserving water is essential in an age of freshwater depletion. Smart water devices can identify water leaks and eliminate inaccurate metering. Non-revenue water (NRW) is water that never reaches the customer, possibly due to leakage, theft or inaccurate monitoring. Smart technology also makes billing more accurate for customers and helps utilities detect and prevent water losses.
Impacts on Consumption
A rising global population with an expected increase of 2 billion people by 2050 is causing city officials to rethink urban planning. Another factor on demands facing utilities is that about 3 million people move to new cities every week. Using smart technology to gauge water demand is already a solution to meeting these constantly increasing demands.
Developing a Smart Water Infrastructure
Risk management is a foundation of city infrastructure planning. It's also important for utilities, insurance companies and investors. Climate change is causing costly disasters, such as strong storms leading to billions of dollars in damage. Smart meters add risk management by monitoring contaminated stormwater levels in sewer systems to avoid health risks.
Smart Wastewater Treatment Plants
IoT technology at a wastewater treatment plant makes operations more efficient in multiple ways. It provides real-time data on water quality, temperature, humidity and several other factors. Knowing the real-time energy output to assets is crucial to allocating resources effectively.
Collecting Ocean Data
When ocean water is contaminated, IoT sensors can warn coastal cities before the water enters other waterways. The sensors can monitor the quality and flow of water either upstream or downstream. Without proper water treatment, high amounts of nitrates and phosphates can lead to the growth of dangerous algae, which harms marine life. Smart technology has the capability of preventing this disaster.
Thanks to IoT sensors, it's possible to be more aware of water quality, as well as water consumption to avoid high bills or waste. Most companies dealing with water management are making the transition to smart water technology.
To learn more about how smart technologies empower enterprises and smart cities, check out our technology guide.