The water sector has a historical predisposition to risk aversion, founded in the reality that there are definite public health challenges associated with their work. The result is that the industry has unfortunately lagged the advances in technology, data, and analytics that have revolutionized a host of other industries including commerce, airlines, financial institutions, and political campaigns. Limited capacity in data acquisition and the tools necessary to curate and analyze that data have hindered the use of “big data” in water.
Other impediments for technology innovation in the water sector include:
With the availability of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), rapidly decreasing cost of sensors, and the availability of massive data sets, including weather and climate, hydrological, and remote sensing information, water utilities now have a significant opportunity to expand their data footprint.
In order to realize this, however, utilities require a data infrastructure that:
The Water Tower’s vision is to bring together key stakeholders to address these challenges by taking the lead in demonstrating the impact of digital transformation and the integration of data platforms and systems.
This will be done through the following avenues:
Control Central, located in the Demonstration Facility, will include the tools necessary to visualize digital technologies through a GIS-based system, SCADA, and creating a Digital Twin of multiple facilities. When you combine this feature with The Water Tower’s workforce development and training components, the opportunity for advancement vastly increases.
"Giving utilities the chance to test-drive technologies is a brilliant and much needed resource that can have a transformative impact.”
– Felicia Marcus, Former Chair California State Water Board