Updated: Mar 11, 2020
Last June, I wrote a blog for Our Water Counts titled “How Much Does Water Really Cost Today?” In the post, I suggested that insight into our water data would allow us to more clearly identify how much it was costing us to produce, deliver, and treat water as a commodity. It is unfortunate that our insight into this resource is so limited, especially today with the prevalence of technology.
That being said, we are beginning to gain a better understanding of our resources. Information technology systems are playing an ever increasing role in the way we manage water. Smart Water is becoming a more common term, taking lessons learned from the electric industry. Sensors are starting to be deployed along the entire supply chain, and investors are taking an active role in funding promising technology companies.
There is still a huge gap in understanding the roles of information systems in a water utility. Firms like Westin are helping clients deploy systems that align with business needs. Vendors like OSIsoft are giving us greater insight into the data that we are now collecting. But there is still need for innovation and product development. There is even greater need for sharing best practices and knowledge from the numerous pilot projects that are currently underway and educating the industry at large.
It is our intent here at The Water Innovation Project to shed some light on the importance of information management and the role of data in our industry. One of our first major undertakings is the H2.O platform currently under development. The platform represents the intersection of Water, Web 2.0 capabilities, data management, business intelligence, and social collaboration tools. The project is collecting data from pilot projects, creating a directory of proven information management systems, and introducing Utilities, Consultants, and Engineers to relevant, cutting edge technology solutions.
Utilities realize they can longer operate business as usual. The role of information over the next decade will be profound as we implement necessary changes. The more we understand the data behind out operations, the more we can accurately value water.
Read the original blog post here.