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If you could turn back time, how would you change your water network?

Rewind the clock and spring forward with digital monitoring for the environment

Water is the basis of life, and concerns about the environment are forcing government entities to rethink the way they manage the public water supply. Floods, drought, pipe leaks, combined sewer overflows, and clogged stormwater drains are all putting strain on a water system that's falling apart.

The change starts with us, but where do we begin? Taking a look at past errors of judgment without criticizing particular individuals gives us a clue. We can't turn back time, much as we might like, but we can avoid repeating past mistakes with insight and forward planning.

It's not possible to tear out and rebuild our critical infrastructure from scratch, even if time and money were no object. However, we can build smart solutions into existing systems to make them run more efficiently. It is predicted that $10.8 billion will be spent on digital water solutions in North America by 2030.

Digital solutions to the rescue

Digital monitoring of field assets with edge devices transmits real-time data to utility offices. It provides a path for decision makers to get actionable insights with data instead of flying blind. Companies will have the analytics to allow them to make proactive decisions regarding their water quality. The Global Infrastructure Initiative emphasizes that digital water management systems reduce water loss and improve efficiency by increasing transparency, allowing for faster response times to water failures and leaks, and letting companies practice predictive maintenance.

Americans were shocked by the flooding in Jackson, MS, that overloaded water treatment facilities and resulted in brown, muddy discharges from home taps. The majority of the state capital's 164,000 residents were left without clean water for drinking or bathing.

Tragically, the city has lost many opportunities in the past to fix the problems in its water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure. Floods are no longer an uncommon occurrence, but warnings from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have not yet yielded progress. Water utilities tend to act conservatively and change is implemented in small increments, or not at all. America's water policy is rooted in Kennedy-era regulations that do not reflect today's challenges of a growing population. They must leave behind antiquated notions of incremental change and implement bold new strategies that enable proactive action. Implementing advanced, predictive technologies will allow organizations to autonomously monitor water efficiency and water quality.

 

Conclusion

No one can hold back the rain, but the resultant flooding can be managed much more efficiently. As much as we might like, we can't turn back the clock, but we can rewind it and spring forward with renewed energy to tackle our critical water supply problems.

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Rewind the clock and spring forward with digital monitoring for the environment

If you could turn back time, how would you change your water network?

Water is the basis of life, and concerns about the environment are forcing government entities to rethink the way they manage the public water...

Read More