Strengthening the digital transformation for water utilities

16. 05. 2021 Sunday / By: Robert Denes / Generic / Exact time: BST / Print this page

Learn why an open IIoT operations architecture is part of the digital transformation of legacy systems into sustainable lifecycle water management.

The dynamics of water supply are complex. Utilities need to take into account changing (untreated from rain, wells, rivers and lakes) water availability, fluctuating customer needs and service requirements, and increasing societal expectations for water sustainability and conservation.

At the same time, it is a constant challenge for public utilities to extend the life of many, often long-lived assets in order to minimize capital expenditures. This too easily leads to long-term underfunding, which poses increasing threats to water quality and availability. The truth is that acute water and wastewater infrastructure threats, such as wastewater overflows, are not uncommon, wasting valuable resources and potentially affecting public health and the environment.

The fact that utilities have limited visibility and control over these devices exacerbates the challenges. The trend towards the introduction of traditional, purpose-built solutions optimized for different use cases is very fragmented and often results in proprietary operating systems. Utilities must move around managing endpoint diversity and system complexity to operate end-to-end solutions. Patented communication protocols and unique approaches to device discovery, communication, security, monitoring, diagnostics, analysis, and enterprise integration make it difficult to operate any end-to-end solution successfully and extensively.

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