Ecolab Inc., the global leader in water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services, launched Water Flow Intelligence, a digital service that provides industry with real-time visibility of water usage at the enterprise, site and asset levels.
The launch of this new service comes at a time when rising industrial water use continues to contribute to the world’s growing water stress and scarcity challenges. According to the World Resources Institute, the world will experience a 56% freshwater shortfall by 2030 if nothing changes, an increase from the 40% shortfall projected by the U.N. in 2015. At the same time, S&P Global reports that corporate water use progress is currently insufficient to prevent the projected freshwater gap.
To help address these growing water challenges, Water Flow Intelligence enables companies to identify opportunities that help improve water management across their operations, deliver on sustainability goals and reduce operational costs by combining smart water meters and sensors with advanced water flow measurement and monitoring, asset performance insights and machine learning.
The service is powered by ECOLAB3D™, a secure, cloud-based digital platform that translates data from multiple sources into actionable insights. ECOLAB3D uses advanced algorithms and predictive analytics to power better business outcomes, enhancing the value and impact Ecolab delivers to businesses through its programs, products and services.
“Water Flow Intelligence uses cutting-edge digital technologies to enable real-time insights and response,” said Pedro Sancha, senior vice president and general manager of Ecolab’s Industrial Digital business. “By gaining visibility to water use across their organizations, companies can optimize their operations and make real progress on their water-related sustainability goals, from the enterprise level to individual facilities.”
Manual data collection and analysis to track water use is often tedious, resource-intensive and difficult to execute consistently across sites. Through the data and insights provided by Water Flow Intelligence, developed by Ecolab’s Nalco Water business, users can efficiently pinpoint on a user-friendly dashboard where water is being consumed across the connected assets and processes within their facilities, set enterprise-wide benchmarks and strategically target improvement efforts to help maximize water savings.
At the local plant level, Water Flow Intelligence helps users protect their facilities against water damage and excess water use – which can negatively impact the local community and result in costly fines. Through the combination of real-time monitoring, advanced alarm notifications and 24/7 oversight by engineers at Ecolab’s System Assurance Center, the service alerts users to out-of-spec conditions as they occur, enabling faster responses to address leaks and other issues.
In addition to managing risks, Water Flow Intelligence can help reduce costs by reducing water use. In the auto industry, pretreatment of water used to prepare vehicle bodies for painting is one of the most water-intensive processes and the biggest opportunity for water savings. One of the world’s largest automakers asked long-time partner Nalco Water to help reduce water consumption without negatively affecting product quality or production. Water Flow Intelligence was installed in the pretreatment area at one of the automaker’s North American assembly plants, where it has helped the customer cut water use at the facility by 15%, saving 25 million gallons of water and $193,000 per year.1
“Paired with the knowledge and expertise of our on-the-ground sales and service teams, Water Flow Intelligence can help businesses gauge the effectiveness of their water management plans and improve their water footprint,” said Darrell Brown, executive vice president and president of Ecolab’s Global Industrial group. “This is more important than ever as the gap between freshwater availability and demand continues to grow, and companies worldwide step up their sustainability commitments to build resilience and drive action in the face of both climate change and water scarcity.”
Water Flow Intelligence is currently available to industrial businesses in North America and Europe, with expansion to Australia and New Zealand by the end of 2021. To learn more, go to ecolab.com/waterflowintelligence.