What’s smart water management and its Importance in smart cities
With cities experiencing rapid growth it has become the need of the hour to expand sustainable development, the requirement to maintain a high quality of life for residents has become even more important. Thus, everywhere people are trying to make cities smarter with smart water management. Government and private sectors are giving prime focus on making cities smarter and more efficient.
According to the World Health Organization, the majority of the population of the world resides in a city and there is an estimation that it will witness a sharp growth of 70% by 2050. Since cities all over the world are experiencing huge growth, the need to ensure that they are equipped enough to expand sustainably has arrived. Maintaining a high quality of life has become greater for residents than that of today.
This is where smart cities equipped with smart water systems come to the scene.
The term “smart cities” is creating a lot of buzzes these days and is quite a trending topic amongst governments, urban planners and even private sectors. These days governments are trying hard to make cities smarter for supporting growth.
There is a rough estimation that this decade cities all over the world will invest around $108 billion for making cities smart which includes smart meters, energy efficient buildings, smart water systems, smart meters and grids and many more.
Smart water is an integral part of the smart cities
Among the cities, the most critical infrastructure is its water system. “Smart water” is one of the main components of a smart city among six other components. With the on growing population in cities, the growth in water consumption is sure to rise. The term “smart water” refers to water and wastewater infrastructure ensuring this precious resource and the energy that is used to transport it can be managed efficiently.
A smart water system is designed keeping in mind all the meaningful and actionable data about the flow, pressure, and distribution of the city’s water. However, the system dealing with the consumption and forecasting of this smart water use is complicated thus maintaining the accuracy demands efficiency.
It is important for a city’s water distribution and management system to be viable and sound in the long term so as to maintain its growth. It is also essential for the water management system to be equipped with the monitoring and networking capacity with other critical systems so that it can obtain more sophisticated information on how they are performing and helping each other to grow.
More efficiency can be gained when various departments can share relevant and actionable information with one another.
Water systems although are one of the most critical components of energy management in smart cities are often overlooked. These water systems comprise more than 50% of a city’s total energy spend. Energy, although is the largest controllable cost in water or wastewater operations, optimizing treatment plants and distribution networks, are often been overlooked because cash strapped municipalities do not want to release operating funds.
Once these facilities can be optimized and designed then meaningful actionable data can be gathered which will help municipal leaders to make decisions faster and better decisions can be taken.
How to achieve smart water management in the future
One of the biggest obstacles for achieving smart water management system is the funding. However, where there is a will, there is a way. With municipalities and cities striving to achieve smarter water management system, a large number of options are there which can help them get started.
One of the most effective paths is that they can leverage energy-saving performance contracts (ESPCs).
Now it’s the high time we start investing in smart infrastructure. On a global scale, it is more important since all the developed countries have already adopted this system. Thus, we must also try to access the most powerful and modern tools and should not lag behind.