Technology That Targets Leaks

Leaks are often a major problem in the water industry since having a leak means that a valuable resource: water is being wasted, and customers’ will not get their regular supply of potable water, as well as, the fact that the surrounding infrastructure will be hampered.

However, in a recent article by Laura Sanchez, in the editor’s blog of the Water Efficiency Magazine, she looks at a robot designed by mechanical engineer You Wu, which is able to detect leaks in pipes even before they have become large enough to be noticed by customers and employees within the water sector, thus ensuring that the problem can be solved sooner rather than later.

“Daisy” as the robot is called also links to mapping software which would allow engineers to know exactly where the leaks are, in order to not to make any costly mistakes.

To read the entire article and make comments you can click on the following link There’s A Robot in Your Pipes…And its Wearing a Skirt

Smart Water Management

Water is a necessary resource and can often be described as life itself, since without water persons will not be able to survive. Yet, while such a resource is needed and is mainly provided by water management utilities, such organizations can employ technology and smart techniques to ensure smooth operations, which overall can lead to lower operational costs.

In a recent article published by Daniel P. Duffy, on 11 September, 2018, he highlights the basis of smart water management, such as Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) technologies and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) systems, and highlights what this entails and some relevant suppliers of the technology.

One can read the full article by clicking on the following link Intelligent Water Management

Does legal mean safe?

In a guest blog in the Water Efficiency Magazine Dr. Edo McGowan, who has forty years of experience in the development of local, regional, and international programs relating to health aspects of water quality, vector control, as well as, the analyses and disposal of hazardous materials, discusses the legality  of water compared to its safety, since there could be many new contaminants existing that may not be found in laboratory tests.

To read and comment on the article click the following Legal vs. Safe Water

Dealing with FOGs (Fats, Oils and Grease)

As employees working within the water sector, we at some point get to know about fats, oils and grease and the damage they can cause to pipes, whether it is through public education or getting our hands dirty when we have to deal with the clogs created by pouring these fats, oils and grease down the drain.

In a recent article by Laura Sanchez, the editor of the Water Efficiency Magazine, she highlights a new strategy for dealing with FOGs (fats, oil and grease) developed by a research team from the University of British Colombia in Canada.

To read the article and comment you can follow the link Fatberg to Fuel.

Do you think such a process can make a difference or is it just another pipe dream? 🙂

On the Pulse – Smart meters and acoustic sensors limit non-revenue water loss.

The town of Olds in Alberta, Canada, faced a daunting task. The public works and utilities department, serving the town of approximately 8,000, set out in 2007 to decrease the municipality’s total water usage by 10% by January 2017, using the amount of water it consumed in 2006 as a baseline.

To meet this goal, town officials knew that they would have to address the water that leaked out of Olds’ water delivery system each year. And in this challenge, Olds is far from alone.

According to information published by energy and water resource management company Itron, more than 32 billion cubic meters of treated water leak from urban water supply systems across the world every year. That is equal to more than $18 billion of non-revenue water.

To continue reading about what has been done in the town of Olds, as well as, what has been done by other utilities click here.

 

Software Strategies – Water-monitoring software and cloud-based storage help boost utilities’ bottom lines.

This article, published by Dan Rafter on July 18, 2017, describes the water-monitoring software used by the Maynilad Water Services, a private water provider in the Philippines.

Software Strategies

Water-monitoring software and cloud-based storage help boost utilities’ bottom lines.

Maynilad Water Services is the largest private water provider in the Philippines, serving a population of 9 million people in the western portion of Manila. The system faced a challenge, though: It needed to make better, and faster decisions on which pipes needed immediate maintenance, which leaks needed to be repaired first, and which meters needed to be replaced.

Maynilad had plenty of data it could turn to in order to help make these decisions. But unfortunately, this data was spread throughout the utility. Water utility workers in the billing department had key data. So did those working in the distribution department. But these numbers were rarely shared. Maynilad needed all its data stored in one, easy-to-access location.

To read the rest of the article follow this link.

What do you think, can this be a possibility in our organization? Would you appreciate such a service? You can leave your comments on our blog page or in the space provided after the full article.

Water Demand Management: Using technology to forecast water usage and improve efficiency

With technology being a big part of our day to day lives it’s seems inevitable that it can be used to solve issues of water usage and improve efficiency. This is highlighted in an article by Lori Lovely in the June 2017 issue of the Water Efficiency magazine.

Do enjoy!

Water Efficiency Magazine
Water Efficiency Magazine June 2017

Water Demand Management

Using technology to forecast water usage and improve efficiency

by Lori Lovely May 25, 2017

 

Mni wiconi is Lakota for “water is life.” The phrase articulates a fundamental truth. Our lives depend on water. Planning to meet and manage demand is essential.

Demand for water has risen relentlessly over the years as the world’s population climbs past the 7 billion mark, with projections of continued growth. Lifestyle affects demand as climate change affects supply.

While demand is easily understood, responding to it involves a complicated set of choices. It can be met with a supply-side response—developing new resources—or a demand-side response—management by influencing demand and water use through more efficient use of water that is already available in order to meet objectives such as economic efficiency, environmental protection, sustainability, or other reasons that could include social equity.

Find the rest of the article here.

Women and Water by Laura Sanchez

Women and water share a powerful and intimate bond. In many parts of the world women bear the primary responsibility for water collection, they nourish their families with it, and often play a vital role in water economies. Water is fundamental for health, safety, industry, and food security. In an effort to better understand women’s participation in the water industry and the water supply network,Water Efficiency magazine reached out to Kirsten de Vette of the International Water Association (IWA) for her global perspective.

From 2014 to 2015, deVette headed a team focused on women professionals in urban water, specifically, on improving service delivery by strengthening the role of female water professionals in decision-making. She is currently focused on capacity development in the water sector. She and her team hope to create an understanding of the gaps and shortages within the water network and to address these deficiencies at institutional, organizational, and individual levels.

Kirsten de Vette

Water Efficiency (WE): What first drew you to the water industry and what excites you about it today?

Kirsten deVette (KdV): As a sociologist I did my research on the use of social networks in recovery after an earthquake. My fieldwork in Peru had a deep impact on me, particularly in the way that families lost all their basic needs in one event. It struck me how simple access to water was problematic for months after the disaster, and still—one year later—was limited to two hours per day. Not even to mention their sanitation situation; mostly a curtain and a hole in the ground. It made me realize how uncommon my situation [in the Netherlands] is, with clean tap water that we can drink at any time we want, and toilets everywhere. This was my first reality check. And this encounter inspired me to contribute to this sector.

Now, having worked a number of years in the sector, I know how water influences everything on this planet—all sectors, all products, all services—our basic needs, our eco-systems, and everything else. Nothing functions without water, and even then its importance is not always recognized. I feel strongly that water professionals (we have too few) should influence behavioral change in the industry and of society, so as to stimulate better management of water resources. This includes the use of proper sanitation facilities, wastewater treatment, and discharge methods, in order to improve our environment’s and society’s health.

 

WE: Do you feel that women are sufficiently represented within our industry?

KdV: No. And this is not just an issue of equity. There is a significant business case to be made for greater female participation in the water sector. Women represent half of the population, and are equally affected (if not more so) by the practices of the water industry. Women are part of the customer base and should therefore be included in the water workforce to design and implement solutions, products, and services. Similarly, there is a huge shortage of water professionals globally, regardless of which country you live in. Encouraging and promoting more women into the industry could easily prove to be a quick win for the sector and society.

 

WE: In what ways do you think that we can enhance women’s contribution to the water supply network?

KdV: Much of the gender-focused work related to water is about getting women to voluntarily contribute to water projects, as main users in the household. Whilst I agree that getting them to contribute to the water supply decision-making is important, this approach, in my opinion, reinforces the old views and assumptions of what women are and what they should be. Even if we acknowledge that all countries are at different stages when it comes to gender equity, it relegates women to a secondary role, and assumes that women have time to volunteer. Removing opportunities to see them as possible professionals.

From that perspective, I enjoyed leading a project within IWA that looked at promoting gender equality in the urban water sector, stimulating the participation of women in decision-making positions of the workforce.

What the project recognized is that action would be needed at multiple levels:

Policy—The enabling environment needs to be put in place to allow for women to combine family and work in the water sector. This starts with for example labor laws around maternity leave, paternity leave, flexible working hours etc., as well as water sector policies around capacity development in the water sector that should recognize the gender inequality and needs for mainstreaming.

Education—We cannot simply hire more women in the water sector, as this would result in un(der)qualified professionals; we need to stimulate women to work in technical fields, stimulate STEM amongst girls, and provide equal education opportunities to men and women, providing scholarships, and internships.

Industry—Women are more present in the younger generation of water professionals but more efforts at organizational level are needed. Organizations can encourage a younger generation of women to be interested to work in the field, they can put in place the right procedures, and policies to recognize gender equality, provide equal training and promotion opportunities, and in some cases simply provide facilities for staff.

Funding agencies—The impact that funding agencies have in the sector is enormous, because of the investment they bring. Therefore, setting criteria and prerequisite conditions regarding gender equality in the workforce can result in action in countries and organizations.

Having said this, in many countries gender inequality remains deeply embedded in the culture, and this is not something we can change overnight. The water sector can—as other sectors have done—take a huge step in contributing to societal change by opening this typically male industry to women.

 

WE: How can we support young women in our field?

KdV: In addition to systemic change related to policy, education, industry, and funding, two other areas are important: having good role models is critical, as is facilitating networks and networking for women within the sector.

 

WE:  Thank you, Kirsten. WE_bug_web