The 1st consideration on the 2000/60/EC Directive of the European Parliament and the Council states that “Water is not a selling asset as the others, but a heritage that must be protected, defended and considered as such”

The 1st consideration on the 2000/60/EC Directive of the European Parliament and the Council states that “Water is not a selling asset as the others, but a heritage that must be protected, defended and considered as such”

Projects in the water industry are usually businesses operating in the long term, with risks for returns on investments and regulatory restrictions. An online centralized management system will help companies to optimize the usage of their assets, reducing operating and energy costs and enabling regulating agencies and institutions to have the necessary knowledge to comply with their goals in terms of inspection and control of supply and sanitation services.

The Centralized Management System is the tool that allows Agencies to have information about all managed plants, with reliable information (no manual intervention, validated), secure (no data losses, no chance to be manipulated), on a simple way, economically sustainable over time.

Latest generation Information and Communication Technologies allow data to be gathered directly from sensors and instrumentation at the plants, along with offering data (input and output flows, turbidity, conductivity, etc.) automatically to a SCADA system for its subsequent operation.

The management of information received from the plants provides many advantages, among them:

  • Reduction of energy consumption and emissions by savings policies and strategies.
  • Production control with information about input and output flows, as well as waste generated.
  • Comply with regulations having parameters of quality for water returned to the source.
  • Reduction of downtimes and its related costs having information about faults in real-time, so we can react quickly.
  • Preventive maintenance tasks are improved since we are able to anticipate faults in equipment.

A centralized management system will allow us to remotely command the facilities from any point, including mobile devices, therefore reducing significantly operating costs and turnaround times.

A recent survey by Smart Water Forum Networks to evaluate the value perceived by the users of an online monitoring system in utilities illustrated how relevant is for these companies a proper online management of the information to gain visibility and awareness of their operations.

One of the key issues when designing an online centralized management system is the selection of the proper control and telecom technologies and architectures, as well as developing a master plan with clear, measurable goals. Among these technologies, some of them are particularly relevant for the following areas:

  • Selection of control and data acquisition equipment
  • Evaluate choices for communications
  • Select a SCADA platform that covers our needs

So, from the technology point of view, an online centralized management system covers some levels defined by the SWAN (Smart Water Forum Networks) as follows:

In future posts I will consider the key issues for levels 3, 4 and 5, and the following key technologies: (1) Advanced control and communication equipment; (2) Mobility and remote operations; (3) Remote control protocols; (4) SCADA Platform; (5) Historization and automated reporting; (6) High Availability; and (7) Cybersecurity.

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