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Role of Big Data Analytics for Realizing Intelligent Water Networks

Conventional means of water monitoring and customer feedback are no longer adequate in the era of the digital information age. Increasing water customer and utility professional expectations for information at their fingertips is creating growing pressure on the utility sector to transition to digital technologies.

An intelligent water grid refers to the integration and remote communication of information via supporting technologies such as meters, sensors, and computerized controls that continuously and remotely monitor the water flow and usage within the distribution system and customer connection. The introduction and advancement of these advanced enabling technologies has allowed an expanded capacity to monitor many different parameters. For water distribution this includes pressure, quality, temperature, flow rates, and leaks, to name a few. 

 However, intelligent water networks alone add little value without the accompanying big data informatics and reporting to customers and utility professionals. Informatics applying statistical, mathematical, machine learning and rule-based approaches can be used to provide vital information on water usage at hourly, minute or second intervals. Such information is powerful for water service providers, government water departments and customers actively seeking to better manage water usage and wastage. Moreover, acknowledgement of water-energy connections is providing a business case for the integration of water and energy multi-utility services provision.

Edited by Prof. Rodney A. Stewart

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