Open the digital water market and get more done for less

Using data at every opportunity can help water utilities improve operations at a lower cost and maximise overall benefit, finds whitepaper authored by Global Water Intelligence and published in partnership with Grundfos.

The water sector urgently needs to find ways of doing more for less and spend more to keep ahead of new regulations. These are some of the main conclusions from the Global Water Intelligence (GWI) whitepaper ‘Accelerating the digital water utility’, which was released in partnership with Grundfos Water Utility at the American Water Summit (AWS) in Houston, Texas on November 13, 2019.

The whitepaper argues that digital technologies can contribute to improving operations at a lower cost and maximising overall benefit. Initial inspiration for the paper came from a workshop at AWS in Philadelphia in November 2018.

“At the event, we met great utilities which provide outstanding service to their ratepayers with the resources they have available. We want there to be more of them in future, and the way that is going to happen is through the adoption of digital technologies which allow them to do more for less,” explained Christopher Gasson, Publisher, GWI. He added:

“To this end, we chose to partner with Grundfos for this whitepaper, because they are the biggest pump manufacturer in the world in terms of unit production and it seems to me no coincidence that the company is also one of the biggest investors in water’s digital revolution. Pumps are the hidden giants of the water industry; the more data its pumps produce, the more visible their value becomes, and the stronger the argument is for treating pumps not as a capital asset, but as an operational service – and this makes the pump manufacturer of vital importance for utility leaders or industrial facility managers.”

Data at every opportunity
The whitepaper takes digital adoption and pump data into consideration and elaborates substantially on responses to a worldwide survey of water utility leaders and decision makers. Water utilities combine a difficult brief – they have a critical, must-not-fail function, while not necessarily managing revenue streams themselves to ensure compliancy. GWI has succeeded in eliciting responses from water utilities which highlight the challenges they face. Grundfos agrees with the position that the water sector urgently needs to find ways of doing more for less.

“In the whitepaper, we present several areas where Grundfos is progressing from intelligence built-in to intelligence added-on, where we make use of artificial intelligence, big data, and the Internet-of-things to minimise the energy, maintenance, and operational costs of our pumps,” said Robert Montenegro, Grundfos USA Executive Vice President of Water Utility, and concluded:

“As a global water technology company, we at Grundfos are already entering into digital partnership agreements where we see opportunities to use digital solutions as an enabler in industrial and smart city systems, including smart buildings, smart water and smart factories.”