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2018 Smart Water Trends

I recently participated as a TAG member on the End of Year BlueTech Research webinar sharing my thoughts on some Smart Water trends. Below is a summary of those thoughts.

Water is Scarce!

We know that water requirements are projected to outstrip supplies in the very near future. And that we can’t manage what we don’t measure. We also know that water has been slow to adopt #smartwater technologies.Below are three major trends I see in the smart water space.

1)     We are digitizing water at unprecedented rates Over the past two years we have seen a major uptick in both availability and deployment of smart water technologies. We are finally moving beyond data management and into the broader world of digitization. In fact, we are now much better at managing what we have been measuring for decades.Our systems of record have been historically housed in siloed business units. And new data contributors are adding to these silos - IoT devices like smart meters, in-line quality monitors, pump monitoring equipment and household flow devices.As we combine these devices with satellite and geospatial data, we’ve entered an era where we need more advanced methods of not just managing the data in silos, but understanding what that data means across the business.

2)     Integrations are occurring across #watertech with new technologies The introduction of artificial intelligence (#AI) is helping us redefine and decipher the data coming from historical, and new, data sources.In the next 12 months we will see #Blockchain technologies decentralize the data sources, making them secure and trustworthy so they can inform one another.In fact, I am bullish on the ability of smart water tech to rapidly scale across the water sector as we add AI and Blockchain to the mix – resulting in even higher ROI’s. The real value of these technologies come from deep integrations. Across supply chains, across utilities, and across multiple water management solutions.As stand-alone technologies, AI, Blockchain, and IoT devices are really interesting and even sexy – but in the context of automation, customer service, and operational efficiency, these technologies become game changers!

3)     You need a digital strategy for your own business Without a digital strategy in your own business that takes into account the trends we are seeing, I predict that you will be out of business in 24 months - or at the very least, severely handicapped by new entrants.I believe in personal relationships, but our future will be defined by our ability not just to manage those relationships.

Rather, our future will be defined by our ability to manage the data in the context of those relationships.

If you are a consultant, help your customers understand how they can leverage powerful network effects and AI tools.

If you are a utility, understand how AI and IoT can benefit your call center reps in identifying customer complaints before they begin.

Corporations across the board can leverage these tools to better understand their utility customers.

Solution providers need to know where to integrate with their peers.Building a resilient future

As we leverage the power of these technologies, we increase our ability to build a more resilient future by better managing water and its impact on the numerous supply chains that rely on this most precious resource.

I do wonder, how would the Singularity manage our water and wastewater resources.

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