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Digitalization unlocks efficiency and resilience

  • Digitalization unlocks efficiency and resilience

About the blog

Alejandro Maceira Rozados
Founder and Director of iAgua and Smart Water Magazine.

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Now more than ever, the words efficiency and resilience reach a new dimension. And on a planet forced to reinvent itself using fewer resources, digitalization is the lever that perhaps can push with more force to gradually resume cruising speed. A very obvious case of the benefits it can produce is that of water treatment plants. This is the case of the Punta Grandelle WWTP, which we learned about in detail this week. Schneider Electric's solution allowed Veolia to increase the operating efficiency of the complex by more than 20% thanks to the integration of energy and process data, reduced response times, redundancy and interoperability of systems. In addition, the managers achieved an estimated saving of 15% in energy costs, a reduction in downtime and better traceability and reporting based on the complete availability of operational parameters and consumption data.

And, if we talk about efficiency, we have to refer to the circular economy. The world’s wastewater - 80 percent of which is released into the environment without adequate treatment - is a valuable resource from which clean water, energy, nutrients, and other resources can be recovered, according to a recent World Bank report released. “At a time when 36 percent of the world’s population lives in water-scarce regions, wastewater treatment for reuse is part of the solution to water scarcity and pollution problems,” said Jennifer Sara, Global Director, World Bank Water Global Practice. "Once treated, it can be used to replace freshwater for irrigation, industrial processes, or recreational purposes. It can also be used to maintain the environmental flow and by-products from its treatment can generate energy and nutrients. ”

Always with the main objective of achieving SDG 6 on access to drinking water and sanitation, post-COVID19 reconstruction strategies must firmly commit to these pathways. With available technology and knowledge, the challenge is management.