How Idrica is digitally transforming the water industry in Mexico

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One of the major trends in water centers on speeding up digital transformation. According to Nicolás Monterde, Idrica’s Country Manager in Mexico, the industry should collect water usage data to obtain relevant information and help decision-making.

“The digital transformation of water management means savings at operational and investment levels”.

Check out the interview with Nicolás Monterde about Idrica’s role in Mexico.

How does Idrica improve water management?

Idrica’s highly advanced platform, GoAigua, integrates information from digital infrastructure components in order to enhance operations, maintenance, asset management and the customer experience.

GoAigua optimizes drinking water, wastewater and irrigation processes through a holistic data model and a set of advanced algorithms, designed by experts in water and data management. The platform provides companies with a detailed overview of all their operation and maintenance processes.

By combining business intelligence and analytics, GoAigua provides solutions to optimize processes, predict events and recommend best practices.

How does Idrica improve water management?

Industrial water management varies according to the type of industry. Some are intensive in terms of water use, while in other cases usage is merely testimonial. However, from our point of view as operators, we are convinced that integrated management requires comprehensive deployment of sensors to monitor processes and the collection of data, to procure an analysis that provides relevant information for making the best decisions.

Our highly versatile solutions can adapt to the needs of any use case and enhance operational efficiency in all branches of industry.

What are the main challenges for water systems in Mexico?

Some water systems in Mexico offer first-class service and are efficiently managed. However, this is not the norm. Many municipalities have water shortages and supply quality is poor, with utilities being overwhelmed by user requirements.

This is due to the lack of a medium or long-term vision, with planning closely linked to politics, and to poor professionalization among operators.

Likewise, water systems are facing other challenges, such as climate change, which in Mexico is causing cyclical droughts alternating with periods of very intense rainfall. Other challenges include limited financial capacity and the enormous pressure exerted by population growth, especially in urban areas.

How can Mexico become a leading technological player in water and sanitation?

As we have mentioned, some Mexican utilities are introducing technology to become increasingly efficient. Promoting these projects and encouraging knowledge transfer is undoubtedly a great starting point.

Another good strategy is to facilitate and boost the participation of private initiatives in water management in Mexico. There are many highly experienced Mexican and foreign companies and many success stories in the Mexican market, whose technological and financial input would be very attractive.

How important is digital transformation and the use of technologies such as Big Data in water utility management?

It is essential to ensure water supply and sanitation, and technological tools play a key role in this area.

Now more than ever, we need to control and manage assets remotely and optimize operating costs to successfully deal with emergency situations, streamline resources, and efficiently manage field work.

Thanks to digital transformation, data is turned into actionable information which is used to make better decisions. Breaking down information silos is the first step in building data-centric organizations that are characterized by transparency and interoperability.

There is a growing need for long-term planning, but also for improving decision-making in the short term. Therefore, we need to know in advance what is going to happen and why. Here, digital twins improve the ability to anticipate problems, even in emergency situations, and also help to avoid or minimize their consequences.

Digital solutions can help Mexican utilities to move towards a customer-centric approach, improving billing management and enhancing their relationship with citizens.

The digital transformation of water management brings operational savings. The automation of manual processes generates greater efficiencies at a lower cost, improving ROI.

In the current pandemic, our GoAigua SARS Analytics solution is helping local authorities make better decisions thanks to early detection of the virus in wastewater.

Could you tell us about Idrica’s project with SACMEX?

The SACMEX Data Platform is the monitoring and management center for Mexico City’s water network. It uses GoAigua technology to integrate different data sources, SCADAs, databases and suppliers into a single platform. Thanks to this, managers and operators always have the necessary information to hand at their workstation and in the field on their tablets or mobile devices.

Moreover, the hydraulic performance of the network, the generation of predictive alarms and the optimization of maintenance processes are also being improved. The project is introducing advanced analytical tools, such as hydraulic modeling and artificial intelligence to achieve proper resource management through digital transformation.

The goal is to constantly enhance hydraulic efficiency with a focus on improving the water supply throughout the city.

How has the Mexican market responded to the arrival of Idrica?

Idrica has been well received in the Mexican market. Although the project had been in the pipeline for some time, the company officially started business in mid-2020 in a very difficult and uncertain environment, marked by the Covid-19 health emergency. Nevertheless, we managed to start two projects in Mexico City in our drive to break into the Mexican market.

In 2021, we have been able to finalize some projects and initiate others both in Mexico City and in other parts of the country, and we expect to undertake other projects in the second half of this year. In short, and despite the adverse environment, we are very satisfied with Idrica’s first steps in Mexico.

What are Idrica’s priorities in Mexico?

We aim to become a technological benchmark for the country’s utilities. Therefore, we want Idrica to be known as a brand that is synonymous with technology, efficiency and experience.

We are confident that when our projects demonstrate the advantages of our solutions, our market positioning will improve.

What are Idrica’s expectations and plans for 2021 and beyond?

Over a decade ago, the century-old Spanish utility Global Omnium began its digital transformation process with the collection and analysis of data through the installation of sensors in the field.

The outcome of this project was the GoAigua platform, which became a cutting-edge solution for water cycle management and led to the creation of Idrica in 2020. This company was set up to globally market the GoAigua solution and other water industry services.

In just one year we have successfully opened offices in Latin America, the United States, Africa, the Middle East and Europe, becoming leaders in the digital transformation of water management, and our solutions now serve more than 7 million users. Our goal for 2021 is to continue growing and to consolidate our market position.

As we have discussed, Mexico is facing important challenges in water management. Hence, it is vital to have solutions such as Idrica’s highly versatile GoAigua platform, which digitally transforms processes and adapts to the needs of any use case, boosting operational efficiency.

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