These trends are expected to bring innovative use cases to transform the industry and ensure the sustainable management of water and its availability. Climate change and water scarcity are challenges that need to be tackled urgently. The future depends on digital transformation as a way to extract value from data and transform information into business intelligence.
January 19, 2022 – AMI infrastructure, digital twins, intelligent asset management, geographic information systems, 5G and artificial intelligence are the water technology trends for 2022, according to idrica. These global trends are expected to bring innovative use cases to revolutionize the water industry.
In a world where data is the most valuable asset, the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is fundamental given the amount of information it can produce. This infrastructure can improve all business processes and help utilities and consumers make better decisions, due to the large number of sensors deployed in it compared to other IoT systems in the industry.
In addition, digital twins, defined as a virtual copy of the water supply system that simulates its behavior, help to make better decisions thanks to the holistic vision they offer of the system and their ability to simulate real scenarios. and fictitious. Thus, utilities can anticipate the network’s response to any circumstance affecting operations, whether it has already occurred or not, which helps them assess different scenarios.
In recent years, major water utilities have integrated smart asset management into their processes. Due to the deployment of sensors on their infrastructure and the implementation of other technologies such as micro-metering, GIS and SCADA, utilities have an ever-increasing volume of information available. In this context, intelligent management integrates and organizes all this data in order to make better decisions. For this reason, the water industry is adding this tool with the ultimate goal of maximizing efficiency, bringing significant economic and environmental benefits by reducing costs and energy consumption.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have become an essential tool for water utilities, helping them extract value from their data to improve their business processes. These systems allow companies to integrate and represent an ever-increasing flow of information. In practice, all data with geospatial content can be represented in a GIS. This allows utilities to gather location value and its information into a single tool, where it can be centrally managed, providing critical information to guide actions and resolve issues. For example, to monitor changes that water utilities make to their infrastructure.
In addition, artificial intelligence (AI) contributes to a more sustainable management of water resources. Within AI, machine learning (ML) has huge potential in the industry. One of its main advantages is to automate processes that are expensive to manage manually. This improves the accuracy of the results, which are calculated at high computing speed thanks to the infrastructure behind them. Thus, utilities can make better decisions because they have real-time information about what is happening in the infrastructure. Other branches of AI, which are also applied to water, are voice and visual recognition systems, expert systems, natural language processing (NLP) and robots.
Finally, 5G is not just another new generation of communication; instead, it opens up radically new business opportunities that weren’t possible before. Water utilities around the world are transforming their processes to achieve greater water and energy efficiency. This journey includes the secure exploitation of the value of data obtained from sensors in order to make better decisions.
With its low latency and ability to connect millions of devices, 5G is set to become a key ally for utilities. In addition, in a context of increased transparency, this technology will help free up and democratize data by making it more accessible. The range of technologies available will benefit all water utilities, regardless of their degree of digital transformation.
The six technologies that Idrica defines, explains and reflects on in the recently published report “Water Technology Trends 2022: redefining the public services of the future” are among the essential tools for ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water, in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6. The digital transformation of processes is no longer a options; it is simply the way forward to provide the quality service that citizens of the 21st century demand.
Climate change and water scarcity, which already affect 40% of the population, are challenges that must be addressed urgently. In 2022, and over the next few years, utilities will continue to optimize their management thanks, among other things, to these technological trends.
The future depends on digital transformation. However, this should not be seen as an end in itself, but as a means of extracting value from data and converting information into business intelligence. This is the only way to meet the challenges of the coming decades, concludes Idrica.
idrica is a leading international technology company for the water industry, specializing in digital solutions. He brings together over a decade of industry experience across business management, O&M, engineering and consulting to deliver digital solutions worldwide. Through its integrated water cycle platform, GoAigua, it is accelerating the digital transformation of water services. It operates in Europe, the United States, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, providing solutions that serve more than seven million users. Its head office is located in Valencia (Spain) and has a team of more than 200 experts. Idrica was born after the successful digital transformation of Global Omnium, a Spanish company with more than 130 years of history that currently manages the water supply of more than 400 cities.
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