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10 most not-to-be-missed technologies for Water Infrastructure Management

10 most not-to-be-missed technologies for Water Infrastructure Management

Smart and Integrated Water Infrastructure Technologies have disrupted and questioned the old-fashioned practices in maintaining expansive water infrastructure systems around the world. These technologies address the growing momentum of the threats and concerns of traditional water infrastructure maintenance methods, like the age-based water infrastructure asset maintenance approach, explaining how innovative approaches are more crucial than conservative asset management strategies. Technologically advanced approaches can be deployed to overcome the economic, social and environmental consequences during water infrastructure management.

Utilising such technologies can deliver a range of advantages for water utility service enablers when manoeuvring and maintaining infrastructure health and resilience to enable seamless levels of services to their target communities. Some of the most remarkable advantages of using innovative technology in managing water infrastructure are:

  • Conversing and recovering energy and nutrients during infrastructural operations
  • Ensuring the steadfast and dynamic resilience of infrastructure despite the changing environmental and climatic conditions
  • Improving the compliance to water quality standards in estuaries, oceans and watersheds
  • Improving the greening of water infrastructure management
  • Mitigate costs, risks and disaster recovery difficulties with smart water monitoring
  • Mitigating the impact of the water from energy production
  • Optimising performance from smaller systems to expansive and elastic water infrastructures
  • Preserving water resources and encouraging reuse of water
  • Upheave the reliability of water sanitation and drinking water quality standards, and more.

Ten of The Most Noteworthy Technologies Used in Water Infrastructure Management

Smart and Integrated Water Infrastructure Technological Suites house a plethora of out-of-the-box technologies to ensure that water infrastructures are in their best conditional and structural levels. Here are some of the most indispensable and must-equip futuristic technologies used by forward-looking water utility service-enabling establishments to maintain their infrastructures.
CCTV Infrastructure Inspection Fleets
Not many water utility service enablers use Automated CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) Fleets and cloud-driven visual analytics in diagnosing the health of water infrastructures like drains, pipelines, sewers and dams to diagnose the structural and conditional statuses of all water assets. This technology advances the water system condition assessments by combining asset parameters to geographical information to enable better insights on the prioritisation of water infrastructure maintenance efforts. As water reticulation and distribution lines can expand for over 25,000 KM, having a hi-tech CCTV-driven inspection technology to validate asset conditions of expansive water infrastructure is certainly an advancement asset manoeuvrers in the water utility industry cannot miss. Apart from condition assessment, it also offers data-driven analysis, scaffold financial effort with a clear understanding of budgets and asset conditions, update and validate hydraulic models, link daily records to specific asset profiles and more.
Consolidated Intuitive Dashboards
Tailoring smart dashboards to meet the sustainment needs of the water infrastructure of different municipalities is another noteworthy technology that affects the water infrastructure technology suites. The dynamicity of water utility service operations varies based on different events like frauds, defaults, leakages, suboptimal performances, impending risks, service demands and more. This is why most water utility service enablers require a shared and updated monitoring point. Consolidated intuitive dashboards are visualisation tools empowered by real-time data and analytics technologies. This allows the infrastructure-based decision-makers to access geolocated data, parametric indexes of asset statuses, criticality models and remaining lifetimes of assets, and more under one glass pane.
Big Data Technologies
Unlike conventional Asset Management efforts, the new-age water infrastructure management is rugged with thousands of sensors and other smart equipment. Thus, the ample amount of data gathered in the core systems is unimaginable. Data is accumulated from hundreds of data points, cloud platforms, devices, satellites, and other data sources instituted in the IT ecosystems. Therefore, big data technologies play an important role in water infrastructure management that it has before. New-age data technologies like integration platforms, data standardisation tools, security protocols and other data-centric monitoring and analysing technologies have main impacts on ensuring your water infrastructure’s health, sustainability and resilience.
Emerging Satellite Technologies
The new-age technology that is enabled by satellites is now the new-fangled technology used by water utility service enablers of the new age. For example, water utility service enablers can use satellite-based SAR (Synthetic Aperture Data) data to analyse data via patented algorithms to detect infrastructure defects that cause water losses. Landsat technologies coupled with AI-driven analytics can also combine Sentinel Data can enable dam infrastructure monitoring powers, determine and predict the highest risks of pipe network failures and investigate the water quality reservoirs too. This data can also be used with ML and community intelligence to map dynamic flood incidents and isolate flood trends to predict impending disasters that can affect the sustenance, resilience and reliability of water infrastructure.
IIoT Sensor Networks

A technological upgrade that can facilitate the worrisome and costly water main ruptures in water infrastructures is IIoT-powered Nanosensor Networks. The big data collected by these integrated and interoperable smart sensors allows uninterrupted water services and optimises the water distribution systems holistically. This technology is used to accumulate sensors like smart pressures and flow mentors, leakage monitoring sensors, water quality and usage sensors and more to an AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure). The data extracted by this IIoT-powered sensor network allows the asset managers to calibrate water and hydraulic models with District Metered Areas (DMAs), Active Leak Detection, Pressure Management Technologies and more.

Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics

Predictive and prescriptive analytics play key roles in water infrastructure management and maintenance. These technologies use AI and ML models powered by predictive and prescriptive analytics to discover hidden patterns of parametric behaviours of water infrastructure. Thus, the water infrastructure utilisers can use the insights derived by these tools to predict maintenance requirements and prescribe careful utilisation of resources, prioritisation of maintenance protocol based on asset conditions, and put a permanent stop to spontaneous asset risk, failures and suboptimal performances. With informed predictive and prescriptive maintenance, water utility managers can ensure that water infrastructures are not struck by prolonged downtimes or random financial or structural conundrums during operation.

Scalable GIS Mapping
ArcGIS interfaces that allow efficient mapping of water infrastructure that can lay over footprints of 25,000 KM and services over 250,000 homes and offices is another technology you would want to know about. Having a consolidated bird’s eye view enriched with satellites, community, sensors and other big data streams allow the decision-makers to use GIS maps as collaborative platforms. With cloud-driven data updates, user-friendly maps, and automated analytical technologies, water utility service enablers can detect water shortages, critical network maintenance requirements, impending risks that can impact the serviceability and performance of infrastructure and more. Using this technology genre, they can capitalise on GIS technologies to illustrate past, current and predicted total asset lifecycle costs, resource expenditures, and social concerns under one screen
Simulation Platforms for Event-driven Infrastructure Insights
Another emerging technology that has disrupted the water infrastructure maintenance field is Simulation Technology. The analytical platforms powered by simulation technology allows the asset managers to gain event-driven insights on the behaviour and resilience of water assets under dynamic changes. It helps the water asset managers to evaluate the interdependencies of infrastructure, stormwater conveyance optimisation, and simulation of water distribution. This technology allows water utility establishments to anticipate dynamic water demands depending on usage, seasons and other social impacts, optimise the existing infrastructure to withstand performance and conditional changes, and gain a plethora of other benefits related to specific events. For example, if you feed parametric data of a specific flood event to the simulation platform, it will visualise the impacts of the flood on your water infrastructure and provide data on asset criticality, resilience, performance and serviceability in a certain event.
Smart Digital Twins
A Water Infrastructure Digital Twin is a hi-tech monitoring tool that allows water asset managers to visualise real-time statuses, parametric readings, prediction datasets and a range of information via an interactive model. This technology offers 2D or 3D virtual models, and they can be seamlessly integrated with engineering models, GIS data, and simulated environmental data to give a realistic perception of the performance and condition of water infrastructure. When incorporated with a hydraulic model and SCADA data, it reflects real-time information and allows managers to simulate pipe failures, fires, power outages, contamination and other infrastructure damaging events. By leveraging the outstanding insights generated by the Digital Twin, water utility enablers can optimise their efforts to enable a smart water infrastructure lifecycle management strategy.
User-defined AI and ML Algorithms
Patented AI and ML algorithms are the key technological advancement that powers most of the other technologies used in Water Infrastructure Management. It improves the efficiency and reliability of inspection infrastructure and rehabilitation of assets with the right training and data richness. These dynamic algorithms can be built to meet any water infrastructure-owned establishment’s unique asset management, maintenance, and overhaul requirements. These models can be trained to isolate high-risk pipes, suboptimal operation, failing assets, abnormal behaviour of water pressure or flow and more. All decision-makers can use the analytical explorations of AL and ML models to make decisions with updated knowledge of assets, finances, environments and social impacts.

Technologies Keep Surprising The Water Utility Industry

Many technologies have been disrupting the water infrastructure management efforts around the globe. With elastic water infrastructure, sprawling populations and dynamic climatic events, the need for more innovative technologies is a need. The top ten technologies have delivered amazing benefits for water utility service enablers to save money significantly, time and efforts, ensuring the health and unfaltering performance of water assets. However, the search for more disruptive technologies and newer ways to optimise smart, resilient and integrated systems is at a clear place to start in the near future.

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