Smart Water City
A smart water city is the best alternative to last century public policies and technologies, which can no longer address today’s challenges, like population growth or climate change. Water scarcity or poor water quality have become acute threats, particularly in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
In this scenario, innovation in public policy and the adoption of digital technologies can play a key role. The creation of water-smart cities is a complex process. However, the benefits clearly outweigh the costs, as they make it possible to offer an excellent service to the population and build a more resilient and sustainable future.
One of the main challenges of building a smart water city is to choose and implement the right technology for collecting the data, for example during the deployment of AMI, considering further integration and exploitation. When technology is already in place, vendor agnostic solutions are the best option for achieving a holistic view of the entire system, from a single management point.
When the process is completed, the implementation of new technologies brings value-added services, like the detection of internal leaks and consumption in empty flats, for example at second homes. By being aware of hourly consumption, citizens and industries can use water wisely. Moreover, social services may receive alerts when changes in consumption are detected, in households where vulnerable people live.
A more efficient water management by utilities means that water supply cuts disappear, resulting in a more satisfied citizenship. The water cycle management in any smart water city is improved thanks to demand prediction, the generation of customer segments based on consumption patterns, leaks detection in the distribution network and alerts for fraud.
By reducing the amount of non-revenue water that is lost, city councils of smart water cities can foster sustainability and reduce costs. This benefit is shared with water utilities, which can boost the efficiency of field work thanks to work orders automatically created.
In short, what a smart water city implies is that data is transformed into information, which is available for decision-making. This includes information on the state of water infrastructures, helping authorities to prioritize investment on assets. The digital transformation of water can also help other areas, such as the early detection of COVID-19 in cities via wastewater-based epidemiology and real time analytics.
Cities of all sizes and continents have an opportunity to rethink public policies, technologies and infrastructure to be more sustainable and resilient. Smart policies and smart water cities will be better capable to respond to today’s challenges, including pandemics, extreme weather events and population growth.
The time is now to chart a course for water-smart cities in order to ensure water security. Idrica, by means of its technological solution GoAigua, is completing the digital transformation of water utilities and building water-smart cities across the globe.
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