Digitalisation is transforming the water sector, as increasingly new technologies drive sustainable water management and help address critical challenges. SWM recently interviewed 5 key players contributing to the digital transformation from their respective entities. These are their stories.
Gillan Taddune, Banyan Water
Gillan Taddune, with over 20 years’ experience in the green and clean technology sector, is currently the CEO of Banyan Water, an IoT software company that uses real-time data to optimize water cost and risk for enterprise commercial customers. She chose a career in clean tech because she believes that technology is the best way to solve critical environmental resource problems. She started her career leading the Texas Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard at the Public Utility Commission of Texas, then moved on to various energy companies. Under her leadership, Banyan’s cloud-based software platform has saved more than 3 billion gallons of water to date for enterprises throughout the U.S. The technology allows customers to gain unprecedented insight into how water is being used across their properties.
‘Smart water technology is quickly moving from a conversation solely about sustainability to one focused on profitability and risk management. Our vision for the future of water management bridges the two.’
William Sarni, Water Foundry
William Sarni is an international water strategy and innovation thought leader, founder and CEO of Water Foundry, who has dedicated his entire career to supporting private and public-sector companies implement corporate-wide water strategies. Prior to Water Foundry he founded and led Domani, a sustainability strategy firm, to them move on to the water strategy practice at Deloitte Consulting. He has authored numerous books and articles on the value of water, innovations in digital water technology, the circular economy, and the energy-water-food nexus. Currently he is working on a book titled: ‘Digital Water: New Technologies for a More Resilient, Secure and Equitable Water Future,’ and he also was the key author of Xylem and IWA’s recently released comprehensive white paper: ‘Digital Water: Industry Leaders Chart the Transformation Journey’.
‘One of my favorite quotes is from the science fiction author, William Gibson, “The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet.” I believe this captures how technology is scaled – not linear but lumpy. Digital water technologies are no exception.’
Gregg Herrin, Bentley systems
Gregg Herrin joined Bentley Systems in 2004 when it acquired Haestad Methods, a pioneer in the hydraulics and hydrology software industry. At Bentley Systems he has served in many roles focused on the combination of engineering technologies and data systems. Currently he is the Senior Director of Water Infrastructure. He has been involved in promoting many new technologies to the marketplace for decades, and applauds the shift that is finally happening, with more widespread adoption of technologies to improve efficiency, reliability and service in general.
‘Digital twins will improve how utilities manage distribution, collection, and stormwater systems with efficient operations, water loss prevention, and resiliency. Just like weather forecasts and traffic directions have become second-nature, digital twins will become an engrained part of every aspect of the water industry’.
Iván Tallón, Schneider Electric
Iván Tallón has been working for Schneider Electric for more than 13 years, and currently he is the End User Sales Manager in Spain for the strategic segments in the industry division, namely: Water, Food & Beverage, Automotive, and Mine Minerals and Metals. Previously he was Key Account Manager for the water segment for five years, being involved in many international projects with the company’s major clients. Schneider Electric works with clients as a strategic technological partner in their digital transformation processes, helping them improve efficiencies and maximise the return on capital.
‘The outstanding task in many cases, in my view, is integrating new and existing tools into a modernisation plant based on clear and measurable objectives, that includes as well the human factor and the culture shift required in the company.’
Maurizio di Stefano, Minsait (Indra)
Maurizio di Stefano is the Director Energy & Utilities (Head Water & Environment) at Minsait, the company that groups the digital transformation and information technologies consulting business of Indra. He has worked in consulting for 20 years, in many different sectors and regions around the world: first for Unisys, and later on for one of the largest consulting firms in Italy, Reply, first in Milan, then in their Brazilian office, and finally as Director General for Spain and Portugal. He is also a professor of Digital Strategy and Supply Chain expert in the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, where he teaches Digital Transformation.
‘The element that will enable the exponential development of all these technologies will be 5G, a real revolution that will allow connecting and processing a vast amount of data, generating a new world of services that we cannot even begin to imagine.’