Water is a scarce commodity, also described as the “blue gold”. This precious resource is necessary for human survival and is widely used in all types of industries, from food processing to the production of electrical energy.
New technologies such as Big Data analytics can enable businesses, communities and individuals to address a crucial challenge humanity and the planet faces– water loss. But to reach tangible results, it is necessary to have the right tools in place to get the most out of the digital revolution.
According to a report published by the United Nations, by 2030, the demand for water will exceed supply by 40%. It is therefore urgent to implement tools that enhance cities water management capabilities with the aim to mitigate water loss.
Over-consumption in certain regions of the world is undoubtedly the leading cause of water depletion but we must not forget another factor accelerating this trend: leaks. The World Bank pointed out the colossal losses due to water leaks and other technical incidents, estimating that the average city water utility in the United States loses up to 30 percent through leaks, costing municipal services worldwide a staggering $14 billion a year.
To address this problem, governments are installing smart meters, intelligent sensors and IoT devices that track data and geo-locate flooded areas in the city, drilled pipes and other similar problems. This is a smart move, but without the platform to properly leverage data generated to deliver insights, it is difficult to derive any benefit or deliver any return on investment. Indeed, connected devices are not necessarily useful without a tool to interconnect and manage them. A platform that can gather information and proactively identify problems is therefore an imperative.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning appear to be an answer to contemporary water management problems as it allows a proactive water loss management approach based on predictive ‘what if’ analysis that helps evaluate beforehand the impact of water-loss reduction initiatives, and plan optimal strategies to reach set goals and objectives.
For example, some cities are already equipped with an intelligent analytics platform, capable of providing them with a 360-degree, real-time overview of their municipal water systems. With immediate access to municipal infrastructure, communities can locate the source of water losses in real time and promptly intervene in the event of leaks. In this case, Big Data analytics enables cities to improve their water management capabilities to reduce water loss and non-revenue water (NRW). A strategy that not only will reduce municipalities bill related to water loss but will also help address this modern-day challenge.
To tackle this global issue, TCS has released Intelligent Urban Exchange (IUX) For Intelligent Water Management, a software solution that delivers end-to-end water management and water leakage reduction to help utilities proactively manage water loss and ensure efficient, reliable water delivery. The platform has a future-friendly, cloud-based architecture and pre-built use cases to help utilities launch smart water initiatives quickly and cost effectively.