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2021 Smart Water Summit: monitoring and efficiency in water networks

  • 2021 Smart Water Summit: monitoring and efficiency in water networks

Last Tuesday, September 28, Smart Water Summit held the second day of its 5th edition, a four-day programme in a context of undisputed consolidation of digitisation as a pillar of water management. One of the main issues to be addressed in this context is efficiency, one of the goals of drinking water network operators. Fortunately, efforts to minimise non revenue water (NRW) and ensure water quality levels set by increasingly demanding legislation can rely on devices that allow real-time measurement of all types of parameters, which are becoming more powerful and specialized.

In a session on Monitoring and efficiency in water networks, sponsored by Endress+Hauser, leading manufacturers and distributors presented the latest developments in this area. Enrique Herranz, Product Manager IioT at Endress+Hauser Group, opened the session, outlining different aspects of efficient management, such as analysis of the installed base, asset documentation, monitoring and asset health.

Following on from the above, Laura Vila, Product Manager for Liquid Analysis at Endress+Hauser Group, talked about Smart Water Systems, the company's solutions for intelligent monitoring of surface water quality: "Smart Water System allows us to access the information generated at the measurement point from any time and at any time of the day," she said.

In relation to this, Oliver Reher García, Product Manager for Flow and Level at Endress+Hauser Group, presented some of the equipment in the company's portfolio, such as a flow meter for monitoring water consumption and leaks or Heartbeat Technology, which "allows a documented verification without interrupting the process and reducing the verification effort".

Next, Gonzalo Murillo, COO, Operations Management at Gestagua, spoke about distribution network monitoring to reduce NRW: "Data that is properly integrated and structured provides a valuable source of information for improving the efficiency of supply systems". In this sense, to improve the water efficiency of supply systems, Gestagua recommends a series of steps: know the system, measure correctly, monitor, compartmentalize, systematize, analyse, diagnose, act and evaluate. "Today, in a smart water world, each of these steps is supported by intelligent systems that, handling a large volume of information, share and display it very efficiently," he commented.

Adrián Campos, Automation & Control engineer at ACCIONA, also spoke about the company's work in water stewardship with the help of new technologies: "At ACCIONA we believe that Industry 5.0 is the industrial revolution of people," he said. In this sense, ACCIONA has developed indicators both at country/area level relating to performance, supply or billing, as well as at service level, emphasizing the role of remote management:

Finally, Jordi Raich, Director of s::can Iberia Sistemas de Medición S.L.U., spoke about real-time monitoring of drinking water quality in the distribution network: "Real-time monitoring can help us detect an event that we would not have seen with traditional sampling and analysis". He talked about two projects, one for Farys in Belgium and in Valencia (Spain), showing the advantages of pipe::scan, a station with several sensors that monitor the quality of drinking water in pipes.

The second session of the day dealt with Remote Reading, sponsored by Hidroconta. Borja Sanz, Urban Water Business Manager at Hidroconta, started off speaking about the digitalisation of consumption information and the tools the company offers to help making decisions. "Remote reading is a technological advance in the water sector and helps to raise awareness and increase public involvement in water saving efforts". With forty years of experience in meters and hydraulic valves for irrigation and urban water markets, Hidroconta has a wide range of smart meters (CENTINEL), communication modules (IRIS) and dataloggers (Demeter).

The next speaker was Luis Jorge Mostaza Fernández, ACCIONA's concessions manager, who presented a case of success in which the company relied on Hidroconta's technology in the deployment of its "smart city" model in Toro, where it has managed since 2000 both the water supply and sanitation systems. "Remote metering allows us to have the water efficiency we want. It is the future we see for it," he said.

Finally, Patricia Cortés, Kamstrup's Business Development Manager, shared the company's philosophy and range of meters: "At Kamstup we believe that the most important thing for efficient remote reading is to choose a good meter". In this sense, the company has a proprietary communication protocol "with a range of more than eight kilometers that guarantees a data performance of 95%". Patricia also detailed the advantages of the flowIQ® 2200 meter for acoustic leak detection.

The topic of the final session was IoT and connectivity. With exceptional speakers, the session analysed the possibilities offered by the massive deployment of 5G, but also the fundamental role currently played by NB-IoT, LoraWAN and Sigfox. Guillermo Escobar Daroca, founder and CEO of DATAKORUM, began by talking about the future of water management. Datakorum specialises in the connection of assets difficult to connect to the management platform; they consider connectivity as a service, the first level being digitalisation. "If we do not manage to guarantee the data so that all the analysis processes and algorithms work correctly, we base the digital transformation on a very fragile foundation", he commented.

Next, we heard from Alex Bryszkowski, founder of Redexia network, the first LoRaWAN network at national level in Spain. "At Redexia we have a set of tools that allows our customers to deploy proofs of concept quickly, without looking for different devices, since we have 200 approved LoRaWAN devices", he said. He talked about some of the myths that exist about the network, and commented that LoRaWAN is "a mature technology that allows a secure digital ecosystem to be generated".

The session closed with a presentation by Enrique Herranz, Product Manager IioT of Endress+Hauser Group, who briefly explained the technological needs of integrated water management. "Currently there are measurement devices for almost all the physical variables to be measured," he said. In relation to this, Endress+Hauser offers a solution whose added value is the availability of water data for management entities, in a friendly and easy to install format regardless of the device manufacturer, also facilitating maintenance tasks.

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