The term smart water can mean different things to different professionals in the drinking water industry, but two of the core similarities among definitions are the inclusion of data analysis and informed decision-making. Drinking water utilities across the United States collect a tremendous amount of data regarding their drinking water distribution systems and even the water quality within drinking water plants.
For decades, utilities would have their workers walk from home to home to record the water usage on the water meter of each house in the system. Then, automated meter reading allowed for those meters to automatically record the figures and transmit them back to a central point with the drinking water authority to monitor consumption and perform more accurate billing. These systems were further enhanced with advanced metering infrastructure takes this a step further by utilizing additional sensors — temperature and pressure are most common — to record more parameters for the utility's records.
Smart water takes that data to identify trends, set of alarms for leaks, and provide a more open view of the drinking water distribution system so utility managers can make more informed decisions. Correlating the data from this technology with water quality monitoring systems is becoming a new norm as well, allowing utilities to leverage all the data they collect in a smart and intelligent way for better and more informed decisions. Additionally, solutions providers are beginning to incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning in these technologies to provide even deeper insights for drinking water system managers.
The products in this gallery were showcased at AWWA ACE23 in Toronto, Canada.