COVID-19: the role of technology in the water sector

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The global crisis as a result of the expansion of the coronavirus COVID-19 opens new scenarios in the economic and social areas. In this context, science and technology are playing a key role in solving the problem and addressing the associated challenges.

In the water sector, technology is proving to be the best way to guarantee service and supply in homes, at a time when citizens must remain indoors. In addition, it is helping people to adapt to this new situation and to be better protected, thanks to the alarm systems for lack of consumption in homes with groups at risk.

Idrica, as the leading company in digital transformation for the water sector, seeks to help solve this situation as soon as possible thanks to GoAigua. This innovative technology extracts the value out of data to provide value-added solutions to water management companies. GoAigua offers a centralized vision of the entire system with which it is possible to control drinking water distribution networks at different hierarchical levels, using intelligent algorithms for early detection of leaks and fraud, among other functionalities. The solution allows managing the different types of reading; acquisition, loading and visualization, as well as alarms from the water meters installed at the end customers’ supply points.

Alerts for changes in consumption patterns

GoAigua technology allows to forecast demand; detecting and analyzing the flow injected to a population and the water consumed at home. Thanks to the algorithm used by the tool we can define consumption patterns and, therefore, generate alerts when anomalies -trend deviations- are detected.

This analysis is the basis of the alert system, by which we can detect whether consumption has been interrupted in households where risk groups live, including those who are in risk regarding COVID-19. In that scenario an alert would be sent to social services so that they could check what is happening.

Easier adaptation for citizens

GoAigua facilitates the adaptation of citizens to the new situation, making available all the information on water consumption in order to observe its evolution on-line. Given the new patterns that we are seeing these days, this promotes a rational use of water and allows control over expenditure.

Guarantee of service and supply to households

Today, more than ever, it is vital to guarantee the water supply in those places where citizens must remain at home. The phenomenon of simultaneity – that is, all customers consume water at the same times at home – can be clearly observed through smart metering. This allows us to obtain a record of water supply information.

GoAigua generates demand forecasting models, so that service managers can monitor water production, drinking water treatment, storage and distribution systems in accordance with the consumption peaks of households. GoAigua technological solution is also behind the development of its Digital Twin, i.e. a virtual copy of the entire system synchronized in real time which represents the operational reality of all processes on a digital environment. The intelligent system provided by GoAigua is capable of learning and reliably recalibrating itself in anomalous situations using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence technologies, adjusting demand forecast with a high degree of precision and reliability.

GoAigua Digital Twin
GoAigua Digital Twin

This forecast is of vital importance for both the municipalities and water utilities, since it allows them to act in time and increase the hours of operation of the production systems if necessary, in order to meet the needs of the population and thus ensure the supply and quality of service.

In addition, GoAigua monitors the drinking water distribution network in the supply sectors and hydraulic systems, calculating deviations of the injected and consumed flows in real time. Thus, it detects possible leaks in the network and prevents the total collapse of the system, with the consequent effect on the client, at times when the quality and quantity of water supply is critical.

In short, GoAigua technology is a robust and efficient solution, essential characteristics in a contingency situation such as the one we are currently experiencing, where the system must always be operational.

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