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IoT: Quench the thirst for smart water management

April 07, 2020 / VERNON TURNER

Water is one of our most precious resources. Yet every year, we lose more than 126 million cubic meters globally to leaks, poor metering and theft. Beyond that is the energy wasted moving water that never gets used. It adds up to staggering economic – and environmental – costs. It also presents one of the most compelling opportunities to use industrial IoT solutions. Water utilities can use IoT to address two fundamental aspects of water management: maintaining the physical infrastructure and addressing water safety and sustainability. With IoT sensors throughout a water utility’s infrastructure, it becomes possible to. In many ways, these uses mirror what’s possible in manufacturing. But while factory floors are condensed environments – with all assets located in a confined area – water utilities operate highly distributed environments. Reservoirs, pipes, pumps and other assets are spread across a massive physical footprint. Such environments introduce some unique challenges. One of the most pressing is cost. Capturing data across a massive infrastructure – and moving it to the enterprise and/or cloud – is a heavy lift. That’s especially true when considering the criticality of timely transmission and analysis of water data. Any delay can contribute to continued losses.