Connecting Waterpeople
SWM Bimonthly Nº 12 - April 2022

Xylem's partnerships: reinventing sustainability

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Featured content

Content summary

We launch the April issue of Smart Water Magazine Bimonthly. Our cover features Patrick Decker, President and CEO of Xylem. The company’s partnership with Pep Guardiola, manager of the Manchester City F.C., aims to draw in a global fanbase and drive change, motivating young people to address water challenges in their own communities. In addition, this issue takes a close look at new developments in water treatment, including an interview with Liliana Velasco (Minsait) on their Oblysis solution for wastewater treatment facilities, and feature articles by Almar Water Solutions on the innovative aspects of the Shuqaiq3 desalination plant, and by Ecocoast on their barrier system to clean up floating debris in waterways. Several opinion contributors have explored different aspects of water treatment, from ZLD in textile plants in Bangladesh, to lead in drinking water, to antibiotic resistance in wastewater, and new technologies for water treatment such as Silicon Carbide membranes and microbial fuel cells. Moving on to the broad picture, Olivia Tempest interviews Vincent Cailllaud, CEO of Veolia Water Technologies, on how the company is contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Find this and a lot more in Smart Water Magazine Bimonthly 12.


Almar Water Solutions guides us through the innovative technical aspects of a unique desalination facility, Shuqaiq3 in Saudi Arabia.

SEKO has introduced dedicated online platforms to enable remote communication with chemical dosing equipment for swimming pools.

A floating barrier system by Bolina, an Ecocoast company, is using AI to remove floating debris in the river Scheldt, Belgium.

Will Sarni, Andre Fourie and Ivan Lalović discuss the opportunities that digital technologies and innovation present to help solve many of today’s pressing water challenges.


Patrick Decker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Xylem

  • We can only tackle global water challenges if we raise awareness of those challenges and the opportunities available to solve them
  • Technology is just one part of the solution; we need bold thinking and new ideas to drive change, and our youth can fuel that progress
  • In 2019 we laid out a set of ambitious 2025 Sustainability Goals, which helped focus our efforts in a way we had never done before
  • So far, we’ve enabled clean water and sanitation access for 6.5 million people living in some of the most economically challenged communities
  • Around the world, utilities are seeing major operational and environmental gains and the water sector’s transformation is gaining pace
  • In terms of pollution, our goal is to prevent over 7 billion m3 of polluted water from flooding communities or entering local waterways

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City Football Club manager

  • Growing up in Catalonia, I was aware of the risk of drought – it’s no secret that our country experiences difficulties with water scarcity
  • By focusing on young people, we can motivate the next generation to help solve various water issues before it is too late
  • Our aim long term is to continue to help improve the lives of people around the world, to contribute what we can and drive lasting change
  • Youth hold the key to our future. By inspiring them to take action, the world will be one step closer to becoming a better place for everyone

Vincent Caillaud, CEO of Veolia Water Technologies

  • We introduced usefulness to our strategic vision and we made it our purpose to contribute to human progress by committing to the SDGs
  • Many of our customers have ambitious environmental targets and are looking for a partner with the know-how to assist them in reaching their goals
  • The podcast series includes nine episodes, each featuring inspiring real-life stories that show the Sustainable Development Goals in action
  • We are very proud to have been involved in creating France's first energy-positive wastewater treatment plant in Cagnes-sur-Mer
  • We are committed to helping our customers meet their environmental, performance and financial objectives.
  • Better managing water demand in the future is key; real-time data and analytics will help us bridge the gap between supply and demand
  • The already strained relationship between water availability and demand is about to get even more complex and it will impact us all

Liliana Velasco, Global Business Development Manager at Minsait

  • We promote the development of solutions to guarantee the operation of water utilities, with an impact on both the business and society
  • In the last two years, within the Phygital unit we have focused on consolidating specific solutions for integrated water cycle management
  • We see a need for "traveling companions" to promote the implementation of non-traditional technologies in real environments
  • Oblysis is based on restructuring conventional activated sludge into granular sludge, to reduce the amount of dry matter produced
  • In terms of operability, Oblysis contributes to a more stable process when there is variability in the organic load of the influent
  • In Oblysis projects, in addition to economic savings, it is also possible to improve effluent quality or increase treatment capacity
  • Oblysis is based on a continuous flow process, easy to adapt, and with low requirements in terms of process control and automation
  • Compared to conventional activated sludge systems, granular sludge-based technology can achieve energy savings of up to 30%

Matt Stuyvenberg, Vice President of Water Quality, Badger Meter

  • Both ATi and s::can have moved water quality monitoring into the field with low-powered, inline, online, reagent-free solutions
  • Only when we have water quality data at our fingertips can we start to educate and reassure the public about tap water safety
  • 15-minute interval data of flow rate, total volume, temperature and even pressure can now be presented through the AMI/NaaS system
  • Why wait for days to collect, transport, analyse and receive your results when you could see that data in real time?
  • Badger Meter is working closer than ever before to deliver the real value of smart water, to offer a true Return on Intelligence

Rebekah Eggers, a utility industry professional with responsibility for IBM Americas Technical Innovation Team for Energy, Environment, & Utilities

  • It's important how you define digital: shifting our processes in the water space from manual/paper/physical to digital is not the answer
  • By implementing new systems and tools with empathy and intentionality, leaders can invoke the collective best of machines and humans
  • The water sector must adopt best practices to help prevent, detect and respond to cybersecurity threats aligned to zero trust frameworks
  • The three most promising scenarios in the near term around blockchain are supply chain management, asset tokenization, and digital identity
  • The Digital Water City, a Horizon 2020 project, is in the final year of effort to deploy 15 digital solutions across 5 cities in Europe
  • Utilities are evolving their asset maintenance and replacement strategy towards a risk-based model that combines AI and machine learning
  • An example of automation in the water sector is engineering design, where processes can be accelerated from 30 days to 4 hours
  • Virtual Enterprises need to be entities where leaders, employees, and stakeholders establish a foundational trust in data and technology

Dr Amanda Rupiper, Center for Water-Energy Efficiency, University of California, Davis

  • Concerning water losses, what is best for one utility may not be best for another and a one-size-fits-all approach can be detrimental
  • For some utilities the cost of achieving a uniform regulation exceeded the benefits of saved water, meaning they lost money
  • We tried to incorporate as many utility-specific characteristics as possible, including five values pulled from annual water audits
  • Economic efficiency relates to the level of water loss reduction that maximizes the difference between benefits and costs to a supplier
  • By examining hundreds of utilities, we saw the implications of policy and modeling choices on individual utilities as well as overall
  • Since we designed the model to use as much utility specific data as possible, it is adaptable to different situations and conditions
  • Uniform approaches to water loss regulations will result in some utilities doing too much, some doing too little, and some losing money
  • It will be more economically beneficial for a utility to save water if actions or technologies employed are cheaper or more efficient

Liza Debevec, Senior Gender and Social Inclusion Specialist at Global Water Partnership (GWP)

  • Governments and the private sector are realizing water is under threat and want the water sector to help them figure out what can be done
  • By avoiding the equality issue, and continuing business as usual, we would leave a large portion of the population behind
  • The COVID-19 pandemic impacts women in a variety of negative ways, such as exacerbating the effect of water shortages on women
  • By including people of all genders in an equitable manner, we not only improve their well-being, but improve the well-being of our economy
  • More and more institutions and world governments are making sure that their policies and projects address gender equality

Dr Hassan Aboelnga, Researcher and Chair of Urban Water Security at International Water Resources Association

  • Clearly, if the Arab region is to achieve sustainable development, it is paramount to rethink water security with a new paradigm
  • There has been progress towards SDG 6, but not nearly enough and some challenges remain which the MENA region must face
  • An intermittent supply creates inequities in water availability for people who live furthest from the source and has public health risks
  • The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has become a new reality challenging the traditional dynamics in the Nile River Basin
  • It is crucial to consider the costs of inaction, failure and lack of peace for achieving cooperation over the GERD and water security
  • The sustainability of water supply in many countries is not only affected by water governance and scarcity but also by energy policies
  • The disparity between revenues from water tariffs and the operating costs (involving energy) threatens the sustainability of utilities
  • I am advancing the implementation of the digital transformation of the water sectors in the Arab region in the context of the SDGs

Opinion articles

  • Geoff McGrath, Managing Director at CKDelta
  • Jeroen M. Tielman. Founder & Managing Partner of QStone Capital.
  • Joan Leary Matthews. Director, Urban Water Management & Senior Attorney. People & Communities Program. Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Megan Glover, CoFounder and CEO of 120Water
  • Sarah Ransom, General Manager, Australian Water Partnership
  • Sebastian Andreassen, CCO & Co-founder of Cembrane and Mike Snodgrass, SiC Technology Leader, Ovivo Municipal
  • Dr Sofia Babanova, CTO and co-founder of Aquacycl
  • Steph Aldock, Marketing Director, Bluefield Research
  • Sunit Mohindroo, Chief Product Officer of Citylitics
  • Windi Muziasari, PhD, Founder and CEO of Resistomap Oy


Almar Water Solutions
Analytical Technology (ATi)