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Efficiency and digitalisation in the face of economic and geopolitical risks

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  • Efficiency and digitalisation in the face of economic and geopolitical risks

The world is living in uncertain and worrying times due to the evolution of the war in Ukraine and the inflationary spiral of the economy, among other circumstances. The consequences for the water industry have not been long in coming and are already having a major impact on the management of water operators and manufacturers of all types of equipment. Our editor-in-chief, Olivia Tempest, analyses in this issue of Smart Water Magazine Bimonthly the situation in the United States, where the initial enthusiasm for the American Rescue Plan presented in 2021 by the Biden Administration has fallen victim to delays and readjustments of the most emblematic projects.

Faced with this situation, which can be extrapolated to the rest of the planet, the only thing to focus on is efficiency. A good example is the case of Singapore, a city-state that has made a virtue out of necessity, managing in recent decades to turn water from a limiting factor for its growth into a true emblem of its technology and management capacity. We analyse all this in an interview by Cristina Novo with Dr Pang Chee Meng, Chief Engineering and Technology Officer at Singapore's National Water Agency, in which he highlights the firm commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by mid-century. The secret? Reducing the energy consumption of PUB's water treatment processes and increasing the use of clean, renewable energy in these processes.

Another major trend in our sector is undoubtedly digitalisation. In these turbulent times, and with the growing threat posed by the consequences of climate change, digital solutions are consolidating as key elements to increase the resilience of water management systems. A good example is the deployment of a digital twin by Bentley Systems in Uttar Pradesh (India), which has enabled the best decisions to be made in a project that will guarantee quality drinking water for 1.5 million people.

In short, circumstances are pushing us to do more with less. But this is nothing new for the water industry, which has always come out stronger in the face of crises. I am convinced that, decades from now, we will look back on the twenties of this century as the turning point of the circular economy, energy efficiency and digitalisation. And we at SWM will be witness to this. Enjoy the magazine.

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