Smart water networks could save billions worldwide

Smart water networks could save utilities up to $12.5bn (£7.75bn) a year worldwide, according to research commissioned by utility infrastructure company Sensus.

The report, published in the white paper Water 20/20: Bringing Smart Water Networks Into Focus, uses data from more than 180 utilities around the world.

Smart water networks will enable utilities to remotely and continuously monitor and diagnose problems, prioritise and manage maintenance issues, and use data to optimise all aspects of water distribution network performance.

The report claims that dramatic savings can be driven by the real-time data that a smart water network provides. These savings are the results of system performance improvements in areas such as leakage and pressure management, network operations and water quality monitoring, coupled with informed decision-making about the allocation of capital expenditures.

Interviews with utilities worldwide found that, collectively, leaked water alone costs them an estimated $9.6bn each year.

Sensus CEO Peter Mainz said: “Water utilities are under pressure from growing demand, aging water systems and increasing energy prices.”

“Smart water networks can ease that pressure and save utilities worldwide billions of dollars each year. These savings mean more than 5% of utilities’ budgets could be reinvested to improve water networks and help address the global water scarcity crisis.”

Sensus, which is calling for water industry collaboration to successfully implement smart water networks worldwide, says that approximately two-thirds of the world’s population will be affected by water scarcity.

“The savings and environmental and societal benefits we’ve identified are only possible if we start working together,” added Mainz.

He said: “Business as usual means more of the usual losses – of both water and money. If we act now to implement smart water networks, we will preserve this vital resource for future generations.”

Conor McGlone

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