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Smart water in smart cities
This requires a huge amount of energy and yet this is often forgotten. As cities aim to become smarter and more sustainable, reducing the amount of energy we use in our water systems is critical.
By 2020, it is predicted that 56% of the world’s population will be living in urban areas and these cities will have to cope with the increased strain on resources, including access to clean water. The need to conserve this precious resource is more pressing than ever – according to the World Health Organisation, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas by 2025. So how do we take advantage of the opportunities presented by the IoT era and use smart technology to make our consumption of water as efficient as possible?
Enter…smart water! The buzz around smart cities is all around us, but we need to make water smart before smart cities can become a true reality. In order to make this first step towards smart water, ageing water infrastructures, some of which have been in place for over a hundred years, need to be updated and upgraded with IoT technologies, allowing them to come online and communicate with other parts of the system and city.
But what are smart water systems and how do they work? Smart water systems, much like smart energy systems, use the IoT enabled sensors to collect real-time data. This enables the optimisation of water facilities, by detecting leaks or monitoring how water is being distributed across the network and allows people to make more informed decisions about water management. For example, these smart sensors can detect leaks in water pipes and immediately alert engineers to take action and mitigate the consequences. This is hugely valuable, considering that it has been estimated that 3.3 billion litres of water is lost each day in England and Wales through leaks in infrastructure.