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“Companies have too many experts who block innovation. True innovation really comes from perpendicular thinking.”

– Peter Diamandis, Founder & Chairman, X Prize Foundation

Editor’s Note, November 2019

The future is already here. We see it every day in the digital revolution happening around us. There is a major impact of this digital revolution on the global water & wastewater sector at both macro and micro levels. There is a clear shift in the way we see, use and adapt new technologies, and how we look at the ‘data’. Yes, the transformation is still going on, and it will take some time for the dust to settle down. And this is exactly what we discuss and analyze in this month’s cover story section. Experts from various segments of the water sector have expressed their views on this transformation and shared their experience with AI, Big Data, GIS, and IoT.

If we look at a few recent projects and developments in the water industry, it is evident that digital water solutions cannot be ignored anymore.

Xylem has recently signed an MoU with the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). Under this USD 50 million agreement, Xylem will work with SAGIA to develop and localize advanced water & wastewater products and technologies to address water challenges in Saudi Arabia. Now, a core objective of this MoU is to accelerate the adoption of “digital water solutions” and optimize utility networks across the Kingdom.

SUEZ has also signed a new contract with PUB (Singapore’s National Water Agency) which has chosen it to expand and maintain a system for real-time monitoring and optimization of its reservoir and catchment operations for 4 years. This is in line with its targets to meet Singapore’s future water needs and water resources management optimization through comprehensive digitalization. The digital solution is expected to help in mitigating flood risks and to better manage water resources.

Frost & Sullivan has awarded Sourcewater Inc for its Digital Water Intelligence Platform for the energy industry. This data-driven Sourcewater platform quantifies, visualizes and predicts oil-field water production and disposal. This Sourcewater platform has detected thousands of frac pits in the Permian Basin, differentiating between freshwater pits and produced water pits.

Dr. S Mohan, Professor, IIT Madras and Chair, International Water Association, during his address at the ICDL 2019 conference organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), very aptly said that the next-gen water systems can be developed only by “filling the data gap” in what he considers an important value chain: “data, information, knowledge and action”. He stated that India must move ahead abiding by three principles: Smart by design, smart use, and smart control.

We are moving towards smart cities, but there is no smartness without smart water. I can’t agree more with him. He has summarized the point so well.

– Mayur Sharma
Editor, Smart Water & Waste World Magazine

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