Technology Support: IoT solutions to optimise water production, distribution and consumption

IoT solutions to optimise water production, distribution and consumption

The water supply infrastructure in India today is plagued by a wide range of problems. To solve them, we need to implement new-age technologies such as internet of things (IoT). IoT-based water management systems use real-time data from sensors and help automate different processes related to water supply infrastructure, thus reducing water wastage and losses.

IoT helps connect the physical world with the digital world. Sensors collect data from the environment, and actuators interact with and transform the physical world. IoT devices connect, and the internet ensures that all information needed about the water supply is available at one’s fingertips. All of this can be accessed using a mobile or web dashboard, at any time and from anywhere in the world. Some water management applications that IoT can help optimise are:

Smart water distribution

Using IoT and data solutions for asset mana­gem­ent, companies can keep essential measurements such as water pressure, temperature and flow at hand; integrate predictive maintenance; and avoid equipment breakage and down­time. IoT can also help enhance the efficiency of water systems such as water collectors, treatment plants, distribution mains and wastewater recycling centres.

Smart billing system

Smart meters and monitoring hubs allow real-time water consumption measuring, help identify excessive usage and waste points, correct usage patterns, and predict future consumption. Such water management technology is helpful for production and distribution managers, as well as bulk households. Water consumption routines can be corrected using smart meters and water monitoring systems, thus reaching sustainability and budgeting goals.

Water level controllers

IoT-based water management systems help optimise and control water usage at different levels – households, communities, countries and the whole planet – based on real-time supply and de­mand data. They bring transparency and improved control to the entire water supply chain, from freshwater reservoirs to wastewater collecting and recycling. This includes IoT devices for water management, as well as systems and software tools that help optimise water production, distribution and consumption, and enable innovative water treatment practices.

Water quality monitoring

With devices such as sensors and probes, several water parameters can be measured in real time from remote locations. These devices share live data about the quality of a waterbody to a platform suite. By using this platform, a person or a company can take practical actions to ensure optimum water quality. By tracking total dissolved solids, pH and hardness at water supply nodes and building inlets, residents and government authorities can gauge the effectiveness of water treatment measures.

Storm drain/sewer line management

Ultrasonic devices are the most popular technology for detecting debris/choke points in the water network. This is due to the fact that ultrasonic sensors are small and mobile, and have no moving parts. They are easy to use, affordable and do not require much maintenance.

By Sharat V. Rao, Joint Secretary, Indian Plumbing Association