“A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question.”
– Margaret Mead
Editor’s Note, May 2020
Smart cities comprise a simple system of various smart systems. Such smart systems and technologies are being used by local governments across the world to utilize something as huge a resource as a challenge – water.
The market for smart technologies and concepts (Internet of Things, GIS, BIG Data, Sensors, Smart Meters, Monitors, Mapping and Data-Sharing Tools, etc) is expected to grow by 18.5% between 2018-2024, and reaching USD 31.6 billion by 2024, according to a report by Zion Market Research.
The infrastructure developments in smart-cities projects are a major factor driving the global GIS (Geographic Information System) market growth.
Similarly, the global Smart Water Meter market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 7.59% during 2019-2027, as per a report by ResearchAndMarkets. It is understood that the development of new water management systems and smart city projects are boosting the growth of this segment.
IoT (Internet of Things) enabled smart cities are changing the whole system of urban management, using technology to increase the speed and efficiency of urban services like water & sewage treatment, water supply, and solid waste management. As an IoT based ‘Integrated Water Management’ solution can result in up to 35% less consumption per building – we can only imagine the impact it would have on an entire city network.
There are always few exciting smart water technology developments going on around the world – as we read this.
In the USA, Los Angeles has set a goal of recycling 100% of its wastewater by 2035 which is expected to reduce its problem of water scarcity. Such an ambitious target can be met with cutting-edge digital solutions.
In the UK, Northumbrian Water, Ericsson, and O2 are doing trials of 5G to help manage 1.1 billion liters of water & sewerage services. It includes exploring how 5G-enabled Augmented Reality (AR) technology can allow experienced maintenance technicians to remotely guide on-the-ground teams through complex tasks by relaying real-time data and instructions.
Microsoft, in collaboration with DC Water, is creating the first ‘IoT Smart Water Fountain’ which monitors, tracks, and reports water quality in real-time. DC Water is experimenting with AI by applying analytics to the ‘watershed treatment’ process to identify and address operating anomalies with pumps, and by developing an IoT platform to monitor wastewater treatment assets, manage energy, and avoid costly maintenance.
Coastal Eilat, in Israel, has some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world but sewage overflows were killing off its corals. It has used ‘wireless sensors’ to prevent 100% of sewage overflow for protection and regrowth of its coral reef.
Cape Town city in South Africa which almost became the first in the world to run out of the water by reaching the Day Zero status after a severe water crisis in 2016-2018, piloted a ‘City Water Resilience’ approach in 2019 and was the first city in the world to deploy a framework which provided the first-ever resilience diagnostic tool of a city’s water supply. Now it commits to increasing available water supply by more than 300 million liters/day over the next decade.
The smart cities market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.9% from 2019 to reach USD 545.7 billion by 2027, as per a report by Meticulous Research. Water and waste management are part of this market.
Our communities will play a significant role in the adaption and implementation of intelligent water solutions for these smart cities. They should eliminate the barriers to the development of water recycle and reuse.
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