Iwater 2018 will demonstrate how water management is being digitised and becoming smarter

Industry 4.0 solutions reaching the water sector are opening up an infinite number of possibilities for management and provision of new services. Directly applied to all phases of the water cycle, technology is revolutionising and simplifying processes related to storage, sanitation, reuse, infrastructure renewal, irrigation networks, desalination, waste water collection and amongst other areas.

To achieve maximum efficiency in each area, it is essential to apply smart systems to optimise automation and control, save on resources and reduce water loss, providing predictive maintenance and rapid manager-user communication, based on the exchange of data in real-time.


IoT, Big Data and the circular economy

Many exhibitors will present new products related to these areas at their stands. For example, Contazara from Aragon will exhibit a remote water meter reading system, based on the Narrow Band-IoT communications standard. It is able to serve a whole city and provide comprehensive, real-time information regarding water consumption. The Aganova Group from Malaga will showcase the Nautilus System, a small sphere which is inserted into pipelines and is able to travel 35 kilometres a day, driven by water flow, and detect and locate leaks.

As for the Corsa Group, they will present a compact reverse-osmosis water treatment system which makes use of all the water, without emitting waste, and includes a connectivity system which enables users to check the conditions of equipment and its state of repair, as well as water quality and the lifespan of the filters. In this regard, another innovation is pipe::scan by S::CAN IBERIA, a sensor system to monitor the quality of drinking water at any point in the supply network, using pressurised pipes. These are able to measure up to ten different parameters at once, including turbidity, colour, chlorine levels, pH/redox, conductivity, temperature and pressure.

Aigua will also attend the Barcelona Trade Fair to exhibit software solutions based on industrial IoT and big data for massive information integration. These are designed to improve efficiency and reduce costs during different phases of the water cycle, including batch sensorisation, digital twin creation, remote reading platforms and tools to forecast water consumption demands.

Similarly, Likitech will display their high-efficiency connected pumping systems, Xylem will present different technologies to digitise various water cycle processes and Lacroix Sofrel will exhibit a diverse range of new products for remote management of technical facilities, as well as GSM/GPRS data loggers for the sectorisation and detection of leaks in water networks.

Regaber, a MAT Holding firm specialising in advanced irrigation system solutions for all types of crops, will display ConDor, an automatic, independent system which, enables users to control the operation of different features and to locally and remotely adjust the changing parameters of water networks, using a single device. Meanwhile, Hidroglobal, also part of MAT Holding, will exhibit a small, innovative device called UFR which fulfils a dual eco-sustainability function: It acts as a retention valve and also allows very limited flows to be measured correctly.


Moving towards digital water

The impact of new technologies, and the enormous potential for applying them to the water sector, will be central themes in several of the arenas for exchange of knowledge and debate at the Iwater fair.

Sensors, big data, the internet of things, blockchain, artificial intelligence, data transfer standards and faster, more efficient, automated systems mean that water is becoming digital. This means a ground-breaking change, based on the new paradigm of the circular economy, which will affect water management and governance.

In this regard, the exhibition will devote one of the sessions of the Iwater Stories conference series to the use of new technologies in water management and the processing and communication of data on water status, and it is set to take place on 13 and 14 November. Experts from the sector will set out and discuss ways in which Digital Water can evolve and how this will transform the water sector.

Finally, the innovation and technology hubs will be holding presentations of products, solutions and R&D projects developed by leading companies, also related to technology, with sustainability as the common denominator.


The 9th Water Economy Forum

On 15 November, Iwater will host the Water Economy Forum, an initiative promoted by the University of Alcalá. It has become firmly established as an independent, academic event within the current debate on integrated water cycle management strategies, present-day and future challenges for the sector and the financial management of water resources.

The Forum will be attended by experts such as Dustin Garrick, Professor and Head of the Oxford Water Network at Oxford University; Gonzalo Delacámara, Academic Director of the Water Economy Forum; Catarina de Alburquerque, Executive Director of Sanitation and Water for All (SWA); and Alex Mung, Director of the Water Initiative of the World Economic Forum, among many others.


Iwater, a carbon neutral event

In keeping with the theme of sustainable development, this year’s Iwater is working towards becoming a carbon neutral event, by applying the Towards Zero Waste project to reduce waste and increase efficiency in the use of resources. Thus, Iwater pledges to use less materials, offset the CO2 emissions related to the organisation of the event, reuse and recycle products and avoid food waste, the main ways to minimise waste in compliance with the European Commission’s Circular Economy Strategy