The opportunities to implement smarter, data-driven solutions in the water sector depend upon an ability to connect data sources. Keith Hayward reports on the EU WISDOM project, in which computer modelling has been used to develop a general framework for making these connections, with the researchers involved hoping to see it progress towards a more standardised international approach.
Water utilities face practical challenges when looking to make best use of the data they collect. The computer systems and IT infrastructure deployed across the organisation and its networks are typically installed at different times and to carry out different functions. So, for example, a utility’s smart domestic metering and standard supply network monitoring might be based on different computer systems. ‘That’s a fairly big problem,’ comments Dr Tom Beach of Cardiff University School of Engineering.
It is a problem if the utility is looking to bring the data together to improve overall management of the network. The reality may be less than optimal. ‘You might have a network operator who has two screens in front of him with two different computer systems, because the systems don’t talk,’ notes Beach.
What is needed is a way for the different systems to talk to each other, and this need has been at the heart of an EU-funded project called WISDOM – Water Analytics and Intelligent Sensing for Demand Optimised Management.
- smart water utilities, WISDOM