IBM, Fukuoka Waterworks team to increase availability of drinking water

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FUKUOKA, Japan, Nov. 13, 2009 -- IBM today announced the Fukuoka District Waterworks Agency will use IBM software for a new system designed to increase the availability of usable water supply and improve water quality across eight cities, eight towns and Kasuga-Nakagawa Waterworks Agency in Japan.

The demand for water in urban areas in Fukuoka, which has scarce water resources, continues to increase year by year due to trends in population centralization and increased urbanization. The agency provides municipal water services that include transporting water from the Chikugo River to the Ushikubi water treatment plant, which purifies water for drinking and distributes water to reservoirs in eight cities, eight towns and Kasuga-Nakagawa Waterworks Agency. The agency also manages the Seawater Desalination Plant, which serves a population of 2.3 million residents in the surrounding urban areas.

With the support of Nihon-Suiko, an engineering consulting firm, Fukuoka District Waterworks Agency is developing an asset management system based on IBM Maximo software. The system, scheduled to go live in April 2010, will monitor the conditions of facilities assets at the water treatment plant and the Seawater Desalination Center. Assets include electric equipment, engineering and construction devices, pipelines and water pumps. Exa, an IBM Business Partner, implemented the system.

IBM's smarter water management system gives Fukuoka District Waterworks greater visibility into their maintenance operations and physical infrastructure, with near real-time status of equipment and maintenance history.

According to the maintenance management and renewal plan for the next 40 years, Fukuoka District Water Works Agency's efforts will reduce the estimated cost for renewals and repairs by 125.6 billion yen compared to renewing the facilitates based on standard lifecycles. In the future, the agency expects this level of detailed, real-time asset management to reduce costs still further.

"Water management is an issue faced by every business, city and government on the planet," said Sharon Nunes, Vice President for Big Green Innovations at IBM. "These issues can be understood and managed by collecting and analyzing data, and IBM is applying expertise in smart systems and data analysis to help companies like Fukuoka District Waterworks Agency more effectively deal with these issues."

IBM has developed a number of smarter water offerings under its 'Big Green Innovations' initiative, part of a $100 million investment in 10 new businesses based on ideas generated during Innovation Jam, an IBM-led effort to gather ideas from thousands of clients, employees and thought leaders around the world. The Big Green Innovations team at IBM has concentrated its efforts on water management, alternative energy and carbon management.

For more information on the Fukuoka District Waterworks Agency, visit: http://www.f-suiki.or.jp/english/
For background information about IBM's efforts around building a Smart IT Infrastructure, visit http://www.ibm.com/ibm/ideasfromibm/us/smartplanet/topics/itinfrastructure/200 81215/index.shtml?&re=spf

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