Marine litter: An under-reported problem30th August 2023
25 years of transformation in the group water scheme sector30th August 2023
Maintaining a water system fit to serve a modern, evolving society is a challenge for any water utility, writes Kevin Devine, Sales Director, Xylem Water Solutions Ireland.
Clean water is essential for the country’s economy, aquatic wildlife, and our health and well-being, but is under threat from a range of human activities and wider socioeconomic factors.
Agriculture, changes to water bodies, and discharges from wastewater treatment plants are among the activities putting pressure on the water system, which has led to the development of new water governance arrangements to manage water quality.
Crucial to the provision of clean, healthy water is the monitoring of water quality and to do this, utilities need quality data that provides information on the condition of water and allows the utility to assess its approach. The answer is digital, and water utilities around the world are experiencing the benefits of a holistic, joined-up approach that enables them to optimise the data they obtain and how they use it.
Xylem Vue powered by GoAigua is a single, integrated software and analytics platform – built by utilities, for utilities – that eliminates data silos to improve operational visibility and control of the entire water and wastewater system.
The challenge of data silos
Many water utilities assess data from multiple sources with different parameters, such as temperature and chemical composition, addressing various functionalities to maintain their water system. There can be various data collection units for these sources, such as IoT sensors, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), and other distributed databases. The data received from each of these is unique and in different formats.
All the data collected is essential in providing a complete view of the water system, however, these data sets are without any cohesion, which can prevent effective monitoring of the water system. This also leads to a data silo that prevents universal access, leading to gaps in information and communication. Such incomplete and inaccessible data sets lead to poor decision-making and operational inefficiencies within the utilities.
Such information-sharing challenges need to be eliminated to improve the competence of utilities. Xylem Vue powered by GoAigua enables better interpretation of data by unifying it into a single, interoperable, and simple-to-use software and analytics platform.
The need for real-time data
With the abundance of data produced by the sensors that are monitoring our waterways, water utilities can improve their ability to identify leaks and rising main failures, which historically happen after they have caused significant damage, leakage, and financial loss. Access to real-time data would mitigate these across the entire system, enabling immediate, proactive action.
Xylem Vue powered by GoAigua provides real-time decision support at network, plant, and asset levels that can be customised to the needs of both water utility operators and enterprise managers. This not only enables water utilities to set up specific alerts and prioritise certain areas within their systems but also predict and prepare for contingencies (such as floods) that may arise based on the readings.
“Xylem Vue powered by GoAigua helps water utilities to accurately identify and calculate emissions and energy consumption over the entire network, allowing organisations to act towards reducing emissions and consumption wherever possible, and replacing components that have more sustainable counterparts.”
Additionally, the use of real-time data enables water utilities to identify and mitigate non-revenue water losses by quickly identifying leaks and implementing timely repairs.
Considering a holistic and integrated approach
Xylem Vue powered by GoAigua uses Smart Water Engine at the heart of its operations. This provides users across the system with a single holistic environment that can read and integrate data from over 120 external data sources, from which they can not only manage operational data, assets, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices but also create customised views within the platform to meet their unique system needs. The implementation of such a 360-degree performance monitoring system is instrumental in prolonging the operational lifespan of utilities’ essential assets, resulting in sustained cost-effectiveness over time.
It also serves to fulfil sustainability goals. Xylem Vue powered by GoAigua helps water utilities to accurately identify and calculate emissions and energy consumption over the entire network, allowing organisations to act towards reducing emissions and consumption wherever possible, and replacing components that have more sustainable counterparts. Energy usage over water and wastewater networks can be reduced greatly with accurate, real-time data, which would also help utilities garner public support.
Utilising holistic data for enhanced decision-making
Water utilities can benefit greatly from unified and real-time data to enhance and guide their decision-making processes. By leveraging comprehensive and up-to-date information, informed choices that optimise operations and resources can be made. For example, in the event of a water shortage, water utilities can analyse real-time data on consumption patterns and water availability to implement targeted conservation measures and allocate resources accordingly.
Furthermore, by monitoring and analysing data on water quality in real time, water utilities have increased awareness and control over their entire system and their water cycles. This allows them to promptly detect and address any issues, ensuring compliance with regulations and safeguarding public health.
Xylem Vue, powered by GoAigua, provides water utilities with a complete view of their system, empowering them to make proactive, evidence-based decisions, leading to more efficient operations, improved service delivery, and enhanced sustainability.