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Role Of Technology In Reducing NRW (Non-Revenue Water)

    Water scarcity is rising at an alarming rate day by day. According to a UNESCO Press release, there is no provision of safe water for drinking to 26% of the population. Non-Revenue Water further pushes the issue down the road, which raises several questions.

    What is NRW? Why is non-revenue water (NRW) important? How can technology help in reducing the risks of NRW?

    In this article, we will dive into the definition of NRW and discuss different technologies to tackle the issue.

    What Is Non-Revenue Water?

    NRW (Non-Revenue Water) is the water that is produced by the system but is lost before it reaches the end consumer. The loss can occur due to physical losses that involve leaks in pipes, valves, etc., or superficial losses that involve inaccurate data readings.

    NRW is accounted for as the volume of water lost as compared to the volume that is produced by the system. According to a source, if one-third of NRW is reduced, the system will get sufficient supply to provide safe water to 800 million people. So, it is high time to encompass the power of modern technologies to tackle the risks associated with NRW.

    Non-Revenue Water

    Top Technologies To Tackle The Risks Of NRW

    With the rise of new technologies, it is now possible to tackle the risks of NRW. Here, we present some modern technologies that can be useful to create smart water management systems. Let us discuss them in detail.

    Big Data & Ai

    Smart devices have the technology to record and collect huge chunks of data. The data can be used if it becomes understandable. With the help of Big Data Analytics, companies can use the data to create useful information. They can predict the hidden pattern in the data with deep analytics which can be combined with real-time data analysis.

    Companies can further rely on paper audits, advanced metering infrastructures, and GIS (Geographic Information System) to detect data voids. These new systems can remove the dependence on old data and terminate several common errors.

    All these advanced systems can be combined with the power of Big Data to record data fields like average usage of water, meter readings, peak-time usage details, water load balance data details, water-pressure fluctuation patterns in pipes, etc. Once enough data is collected, companies can use Big Data Analytics to pinpoint the abnormalities in the whole system.

    When Big Data converts the random data into useful information, AI comes in place to use this information to understand different aspects of the whole system. The smart AI system creates a baseline for the system by monitoring the aspects of the advanced monitoring system. By monitoring the metrics, the system knows about the standard state and abnormal state. When the abnormal state is detected, the system informs the users. Sometimes, a smart system can shut down the whole water system.

    Moreover, AI is now being used in hydraulic models and forecasting tools that can predict answers for ‘What Happens If This Happens’ scenarios.

    With the combination of Big Data and AI, the system can tackle the apparent losses that lead to NRW. Unauthorized access to water or theft can be controlled by data analytics. Moreover, it will further reduce data handling errors and collect true water metrics.

    IIot Smart Water Systems

    Industrial IOT-enabled water systems have completely revolutionized the water industry. Now, smart systems have the ability to communicate with each other through the internet and collect data. The advanced water systems are equipped with gauges, sensors, and sensitive measuring devices that can detect several metrics like temperature, pressure, volume, flow, and overall content of the water.

    The smart device collects data, develops intelligence, and monitors the flow of water for the company or house owner. These devices can communicate through the internet and send all the alerts to the main owner of the property through apps. If any abnormality is detected in the water system, the device will send a notification to the owner. After this, the owner can take the necessary steps to find the root cause of the abnormality and take appropriate steps to resolve the underlying issue.

    Digital Twin Technology

    In 2014, digital twins started gaining popularity. However, the water industry has not been able to harness the power of technology completely. There are several perks of the technology but there are only a few companies that have incorporated smart systems that work with this technology.

    A digital twin is a digital representation of a real-world system that behaves on the basis of real-time data. The data allows the system to create insights that further enable it to take actions to interact with improved outcomes. In the water industry, the digital twin is an integrated digital representation of an actual real-world system of tanks, pipes, valves, pumps, etc. Besides interacting on behalf of the physical system with the other devices, it can facilitate the development of eco-friendly water consumption plans, create reports, and manage other metrics.

    Cloud Computing

    With the rise of cloud computing, smart devices have an online common safe space to communicate. As cloud technologies are scalable, fast, accessible, and secure they can handle all the storage and management operations.

    Cloud systems are proficient in handling large databases with ease. They can allow the components of the smart devices to engage in real-time communication without any unnecessary hassle. Smart water systems use cloud-based technologies to create backups of data and information. It acts as a separate and safe layer between the application layer and the network layer of the whole smart system.

    The Bottom Line

    Modern technologies have the power to tackle the risks of NRW. Smart devices can alert users immediately for any leaks in the system. If the user is unable to resolve the issue in the given time frame, then the water supply can be shut down depending on the severity of the leak or issue.

    It is high time to follow a proactive approach to deal with the issue. Finding smart, budget-friendly, and efficient solutions is the key to reducing water loss.

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