Concerns around water scarcity, reliability and security across the globe are not unfounded, and it has become imperative for all nations to implement digital solutions to improve operations and efficiency, backed and supported by the right organisation and processes.

The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT)-related devices and smart water tech providers offer water utilities a unique opportunity to streamline operational performance and increase resilience.

According to Deloitte, data-driven insights “have great potential to transform the way consumers, the government and utilities think about water as a resource and how the industry plans, invests and manages water infrastructure for the future.

Some smart water trends to watch out for this year include:

Online Customer Engagement – The use of smart technology such as direct two-way communications, customer web portals, and smartphone apps allows utilities to deliver high quality service by alerting customers about possible blockages, leaks, pollution, etc. and also allows customers to track their water consumption and monitor their monthly bills.

Smart Irrigation – Precision or “smart” irrigation is being adopted more and more by farmers in the face of the challenges they are facing regarding water scarcity, increasing crop production, and climate change. Smart irrigation technologies allow them to maximise yield rates by pinpointing where and when to irrigate through sensors or water flow controllers.

Smart Wastewater Management – cities are turning to “smart,” data-driven solutions to improve their wastewater systems in the face of increased environmental regulation, aging infrastructure, climate change, and the need to improve customer service. These innovative solutions allow operators to detect infiltration and inflow, prioritise actions, rapidly respond to system failures, as well as apply predicative modelling.

Automation – There are more and more automated solutions available to the water sector, such as drones which can collect data and inspect operations; there is also a new kind of wastewater pumping system that has integrated intelligence. Cloud computing, big data analysis, and machine learning through remote control systems are also all rapidly changing the industry.

2017 is going to be a great year for the water industry and it is exciting to watch as new and innovative ideas and systems are introduced that can possibly solve most water problems being faced on a global scale.

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