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How water conservation and management floats on cloud

From sewage outflows to blue-green algae and hosepipe bans, water management has rarely been so much in the general public eye. However, utilities are increasingly adopting cloud-based applications and platforms to create this precious resource go further.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Accenture and Colombias Ecopetrol, for instance, are seeking to handle the entire water-use cycle by way of a water intelligence venture announced in March 2022, that they see as adding to net-zero initiatives and sustainability targets straddling water and energy sectors, allowing participants to talk about data that promotes water reuse both within and between industries.

In accordance with Ecopetrols leader,Felipe Bayn, collaboration is required to truly ignite change because companies cannot solve environmental challenges alone.

We shall utilize this platform to accelerate … our goals of reducing 66% of freshwater captured and zero discharges to surface water by 2045, improving the surroundings for the communities where we operate, says Bayn.

Adam Selipsky, leader at AWS, says the theory would be to combine data from previously disparate sources across Ecopetrols operations, using Accenture industry insights and AWS cloud-based machine learning and artificial intelligence services, alongside high-performance computing (HPC) and storage.

Like other sustainability initiatives, water conservation is really a big data problem, says Selipsky.

Raymond Ma, general manager for Europe, Australia and New Zealand at Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, says this consists of efficiencies around water supply and demand, via smart monitoring and automatic controls, including alerts.

Process optimisation can further reduce water use, with deep learning deployed to empower predictive maintenance, including by setting power operating intervals. Improved equipment performance and predictive capabilities that may warn of potential outages beforehand can deliver sustained cost and resource savings as time passes.

For instance, whenever a water pipe bursts, the digital system can easily find and locate the area, and offer scientific decision-making references for emergency response, that may reduce the level of water lost such a major accident, Ma tells Computer Weekly.

Proven intelligence analytics technologies can predict future water consumption, while water supply and water pressure could be adjusted more accurately.

Industry-specific cloud applications, such as for example Endress+Hausers Netilion Water Network Insights cloud-based water tabs on flows, pressure, temperatures, water levels and so forth, have already been emerging recently, and UK utilities such as for example Yorkshire Water are continuing to advance across the road to digital transformation.

Cloud analytics supports real opportunities for water industry

Gary Ashby, enterprise data architect at Yorkshire Water, says many British water firms have already been collecting data from various assets above and below ground, in treatment works, pumping stations, reservoirs and so on for a long time, with many water utilities having existed in a few form for approximately a hundred years.

In the last 30-35 years, that has been more computerised, but historically it’s been very hard to organise, and before, the water industry tended to be quite segmented, with different teams and treatment works doing things in various ways, like the recording and storing of data, says Ashby.

Cloud we can offer an evergreen technology environment weve got a constantly managed, secured scalable environment for the data. Weve tried to make a data reservoir in the cloud
Gary Ashby, Yorkshire Water

Today, cloud computing is supporting real opportunities for the water industry with analytics, through the capability to quickly process vast volumes of data. Managers and planners, meanwhile, no more want to await the technical innovation to occur they seek agility, and for Yorkshire Water, this implies developing and improving predictive monitoring and maintenance capabilities.

Cloud we can offer an evergreen technology environment weve got a constantly managed, secured, scalable environment for the data. During the past, we’d large datacentres, which we had a need to develop a capacity to cope with data analytics and all the things that opt for that, says Ashby. Weve tried to make a data reservoir in the cloud.

Yorkshire Water is along the way of migrating a lot of our data into that reservoir sort of enterprise data catalogue in the cloud for analytics purposes, creating consistency and accessibility of data from multiple technologies. You can find hybrid and public cloud elements.

What the cloud offers is really a really fast path to both proving the concepts and scaling the look, and changing or evolving the look, he says.

With near half of a million different devices located across a large number of miles, Yorkshire Water is currently beginning to have the ability to pinpoint where incidents such as for example leaks will probably occur and decrease the potential for those incidents happening. Its also bringing data together to greatly help it analyse customer sentiment.

Water is an extremely multi-factorial, very weather-dependent and influenced business, and contains traditionally been rather reactive, says Ashby. Now we are able to get yourself a real knowledge of how were performing at this time and how exactly we might perform in future.

Leeds-based data consultancy partner Oakland Group happens to be helping the firm further advance across the cloud-based path.

As smarter water use cases have expanded, so have ambitions around so what can be performed with a far more consistent, traceable enterprise dataset, even while systems are swapped in and out, says Oakland director Andy Crossley.

Cloud considerations against a standard systems backdrop

This means paying more focus on the governance, people, processes, operating model and so forth.

As you can plug all of the data in you need, it could be perfect quality with an excellent dashboard thats dead shiny and works instantly, but if nobody decides to produce a decision off the trunk of it, its irrelevant, says Crossley.

Cloud adaptability and flexibility mean Yorkshire Water do not need to reinvent the wheel. It will help from utilizing a public cloud and a Microsoft stack, while still tackling the nuances of its situation, including its specific legacy technologies, and also the climate and geography that affect just how water moves through the regional ecosystem.

Water utilities are under immense pressure to accomplish more with less to lessen costs while improving or maintaining service levels and water quality
Paul Duddy,

Iterative design takes elements which are more off the shelf and computes how exactly to stitch those elements together in a manner that reflects the necessity for Yorkshire Water to possess, run and evolve the machine, he says.

So how exactly does the business handle classic objections to cloud from the cyber security perspective? All data doesnt have to be secure and protected just as. You have to workout what your high-risk, high-value type of data is, says Crossley. Data governance plays an extremely important role.

Paul Duddy, CEO and founder of, says the cloud, blockchain and location tech provider has been dealing with Scottish Water. Detailed data on the delivery of water infrastructure improvements and emergency call-outs at the idea of work or problem is now key.

Water utilities are under immense pressure to accomplish more with less to lessen costs while improving or maintaining service levels and water quality, says Duddy. Demand is increasing, however the network itself is formed of old and new parts, rendering it difficult to recognize trouble spots, leaks and where you can prioritise maintenance.

Kieran Blackstone, co-founder and chief operating officer of consultancy Tecknuovo, agrees. Tecknuovo has helped Thames Water move from its siloed data applications and on-premise datacentre to a cloud ecosystem.

Like Yorkshire Water, the team is creating a data lake along with an individual landing zone, incorporating data pulled from assorted applications and standardised, with machine learning models and predictive applications to be added on.

The lake will contain all the historical datasets but could have been quality checked and standardised, meaning you will see an individual, clean copy of the info within it, says Blackstone. This can make the merchandise teams life at Thames Water easier and steer clear of rework of datasets.

Blackstone adds that the project has evolved because the business has identified more opportunities to look at new technology that can help it and its own customers. Up to now, the project has delivered 21 reusable integrations, a 500% upsurge in output efficiencies and halved the amount of customer complaints, he says.

Adding more data to the cloud-based toolbox

Pascal Devynck, international sales head at infrastructure lifecycle management provider Trimble, confirms that cloud is becoming necessary to water utilities transformation in lots of countries, partly because fewer providers than ever before can deliver a whole solution incorporating internet of things (IoT) sensors, platforms and applications by themselves.

The best way to overcome the increasing complexity and difficulty of managing all of the technologies is usually to be cloud-based, gives the capacity not merely to play with your personal data but to integrated third-party things and data, whether thats a third-party player already implemented or potentially to be implemented in a particular network, he says.

You should know where your network is, in which a failure is, where your incident is going on, where your field crews are. Geospatial information systems supply the capacity to provide that. In the event that you onboard it together with your network data, it is possible to mix them
Pascal Devynck, Trimble

Accurate mapping of water catchments, infrastructures and regions under care by integration of geospatial data and information has been targeted by multiple utilities, including Welsh Water, which includes been focusing on granular catchment and river resource management with engineering firm Arup in the united kingdom.

In Sutton and East Surrey, Trimble software with embedded Esri mapping helps manage the water network while still meeting local council permitting requirements.

You should know where your network is, in which a failure is, where your incident is going on, where your field crews are. Geospatial information systems (GIS) supply the capacity to provide that. In the event that you onboard it together with your network data, it is possible to mix them, says Devynck.

Then, in the event that you post that on the cloud, you could have the ability to be nearer real-time, better insights, efficiency and productivity, better tabs on capital and and operational expenditure. Its just like a virtuous circle.

Even though full value of most data being collected isn’t yet being realised, what Devynck calls the interaction between your remote monitoring question and work management efficiency is now more productive.

Are we a completely predictive AI machine learning solution? No, not yet, however the market isn’t there yet anyway, he says.

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