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IoT protects water utilities from natural disasters

IoT protects water utilities from natural disasters

IoT protects water utilities from natural disasters

Industries are being disrupted and transformed by the power of connected devices and the data they generate. This is especially true in the water utility sector, where the IoT is providing new ways to protect against disasters and ensure a reliable water supply.

A story by Diana Blass and Jo Kassis.

Diana is Kurrant Insights’ Editor-in-Chief and video director. She is passionate about technologies that have a real impact on people.

Jo is an IoT-focused content strategist. He creates in-depth reports to keep our readers up to date on the newest industry developments.

Internet of Things (IoT) solutions can help water utilities track and manage their resources more effectively. By understanding how much water is being used, when, and where, utilities can make informed decisions about where to allocate their resources. This becomes even more important during times of crisis when every drop counts.

Natural disasters pose a threat to water networks.

Hurricanes and other severe weather events can wreak havoc on water utilities, causing widespread outages and costly damage. In June of 2021, a series of storms left hundreds of thousands of people in Melbourne, Australia without safe drinking water. Turns out, the severe weather led to an equipment failure, which then allowed for contaminated water to enter the drinking water supply.

It’s an event experts say could happen again with the rise of extreme weather, but by deploying IoT solutions, water utilities can better protect themselves against disasters.

IoT and AI can help mitigate problems

Through a system of sensors and smart meters connected to Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), utilities can collect information on the health of their water networks in real time such as water levels, flow rates. This information can then be used to automatically adjust pumps and valves to maintain proper water pressure and flow, even in the face of a natural disaster.

With the help of IoT water utilities can identify and address any issues that may arise before they cause major problems. For example, if sensors detect an abnormal rise in water levels in a particular area, it could be an indication that a levee or dam is about to fail. By getting this information in real-time, authorities can take steps to evacuate people from the area and avoid loss of life.

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And, with the help of artificial intelligence, these systems are becoming even smarter with predictive analytics, as seen in the recently developed Smart Grid Chip by Nvidia and Utilidata. We expect to learn more about AI at Distributech 2022 in Dallas, TX.

Yarra Valley Water protects its infrastructure with IoT

Yarra Valley Water is taking action to ensure its water networks can withstand future disasters. The utility is among the latest to invest in a combination of AMI, pressure sensors and sewer sensors that will help it to access real time data on its operations. The process began in 2021 with the buildout of a powerful IoT network.

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“We trialed Sigfox. We trialed different forms of LoraWan. We trialed NBIoT and CATM-1. This wasn’t just a technology only solution. It’s got to be a technology and commercial type decision, “said Raghu Bharadwaj, Head of ICT Strategy, Portfolio & Digital Metering at Yarra Valley Water.

Eventually, the company landed on an NBIoT solution with Telstra.

“When NBIoT was endorsed by 3GPP, we knew that NBIoT was there for the long term.”

Yarra Valley Water is currently in the process of deploying its technology, which is expected to reach approximately one million devices across its 20,000km network of pipes.

 

For more information on Yarra Valley Water’s project, watch this video on Kurrant Insights.

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Diana Blass and Jo Kassis Photo

A story by Diana Blass and Jo Kassis.

Diana is Kurrant Insights’ Editor-in-Chief and video director. She is passionate about technologies that have a real impact on people.

Jo is an IoT-focused content strategist. He creates in-depth reports to keep our readers up to date on the newest industry developments.

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