A Smart Water Network is the collection of data-driven components helping to operate the data-less physical layer of pipes, pumps, reservoirs and valves.
The idea behind the Smart Water Network is to improve the efficiency, longevity and reliability of the underlying physical water network by better measuring, collecting, analyzing, and acting upon a wide range of network events.
This can take shape in different phases of the utility process, such as real-time monitoring and automation, operational readiness or network planning. The availability of cheap, easy-to-use data technologies, as well as external pressures on the water industry, means that water networks will see much greater sensor and controller density, and inevitably a more central role for all the data systems built on top of them.
The Smart Water Network, in large part, has become a necessity due to discouraging predictions regarding the world water situation. According to the United Nations, global water use has been growing at more than twice the rate of population growth in the past century. By 2030 nearly half of the people on Earth could face water scarcity when demand outstrips supply by 40%.
These projected water shortages aren’t just for developing countries. Over the last several years, 36 U.S. states have experienced serious water shortages.
Experts in this area are recommending newer technologies to help utilities become more efficient in four major areas:
- Leakage Management – This includes all smart systems for reducing the volume of water lost from distribution networks, such as smart pumps and valves that can automatically respond to events, acoustic sensors for detecting leaks, sensors for flow and pressure, equipment for communicating data to a central location, software for real-time management and analysis of collected data, and all associated IT infrastructure.
- Smart Metering — Includes all systems associated with smart meter reading equipment, customer services and billing.
- Smart Water Quality Monitoring — Includes all systems required to detect changes in drinking water quality in the distribution network by monitoring individual parameters or composite indicators. Includes any device such as single-parameter sensors, multi-parameter probes or monitoring panels.
- Smart Network Optimization — Systems designed to improve energy efficiency, asset management, process management, and works management in the operation of a water network. Includes the installation of any technology needed to control and monitor water flow like smart pumps and valves for purposes other than pressure management. Also includes equipment needed to communicate data to a central location, software for real-time analysis of collected data, and all associated IT infrastructure.
Want to learn more about Smart Water Networks? Tonex offers Water Network Systems Operations and Maintenance Training, a 4-day course that provides practical skills and knowledge and safe practices and procedures in operating and maintaining water distribution systems and networks.
Additionally, Tonex offers nearly 400 classes, seminars and workshops in close to four dozen categories of systems engineering training.
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.