IoT Edge and AI in water industry: from remote metering to smart water management

How can the water industry benefit from IoT Edge and AI? IoT is one of the technologies that has made a strong entry into the water industry, developing solutions rich in monitoring, analytical, and automation features. Meanwhile, Artificial intelligence (AI) is making its mark on the water industry, powering intelligent operations using machine learning to optimize resource use and operational budgets for organizations.

Water management

The United Nations Report - World Water Development Report 2020- highlights the deterioration of water resources worldwide and sets the main future goals of achieving access to clean water and sanitation for all over the next ten years.

This is a major challenge, given that there are currently .2 billion people in the world deprived of access to safe drinking water and another 4.2 billion lacking safe sanitation systems. To meet these challenges, water utilities are incorporating new technologies directed to digitize their infrastructure and to achieve greater operational efficiencies.

In times of crisis, as the one lived during COVID, the resilience of many companies in the sector has largely depended on the degree of digital maturity. For instance, much of the maintenance and operations work carried out in the field can now be managed remotely thanks to digital solutions.

St Meters and IoT Edge

There are many benefits of remote management or telemetry, as it provides a large amount of data for a more efficient water management. It provides consumption patterns analysis, alerts on water leaks, in general, preventive and predictive information in the meter parks.

In tele-reading, IoT technology plays a key role. First of all, we would need water meters that, thanks to an IoT connectivity network, send data to a platform. Once the data reaches the platform, it is analyzed thanks to technologies such as Big Data and AI that create analytical models.

These innovative features allow the industry to optimize operational methodologies, boost overall equipment effectiveness, and automate processes that are generally performed manually.

The future of the water industry lies in Artificial Intelligence  

Now, as we emerge from the pandemic, utilities should make their supply chain more resilient to future crises by leveraging the digital tools that have been introduced over the past few months. They will then be able to optimize and automate many of their water management operations beyond smart metering.

Utilities should develop a long-term holistic vision of an Integrated Water Resource Management System (IWRMS) that acts as a central system of monitoring for all of their assets. AI is disrupting industries with its wide range of capabilities to process huge data chunks and to bring intelligence to machines.

AI will provide sophisticated decisioning ntelligence to support operators. Operators no longer need to analyze complex variables for important decision-making by themselves.

Whether it’s turning pumps on or off, determining chemical dosages, or deciding when to maintain assets, AI enables water management operators with intelligent recommendations and driven by machine learning. AI will also accelerate the move to value-based asset maintenance- . Early adopters of AI are quickly leaving reactive asset maintenance behind. Time-based maintenance is easy to manage but results in unnecessary uptime and deterioration.

AI can also be used to reduce pollutants in the water which in turn decreases water contamination and scarcity of clean water. AI can be leveraged to detect the amount and composition of toxic contaminants and neural networks and IoT will reduce the energy costs which otherwise increase when using conventional methods.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is making its mark on the water industry, powering intelligent operations using machine learning to leverage resource use and operational budgets for organizations.

ACCIONA. Success Case of EDGE AI

Discover how Acciona managed to deploy an AI algorithm at the edge to monitor the reagent dosing control loops and significantly decrease costs due to the reduction in the use of chemicals.

A water network´s monitoring and operation processes have traditionally been carried out using sensors and SCADAs, but they are largely operator dependent. The evolution and democratisation of AI means faster, larger-scale analysis is possible, including historic data. Given the criticality and the volumes of data handled, water IT  and Infrastructure managers are choosing to run AI algorithms on Edge Computing Platforms such as the one designed by Barbara.  

With Barbara´s Industrial Edge Platform, data from thousands of sensors can be processed with real-time responses without compromising the OT network. Barbara’s proposed solution provided the necessary software infrastructure to meet all the goals set by Acciona. DOWD NOW.

Water utilities should partner with technology service providers and system integrators to carefully evaluate innovations in the AI and ML field. If you are interested on how we can help you deploy and orchestrate you Edge Apps do contact us.