“Help us understand and implement a digital water program.”
The ask came from a water utility client that for years had amassed a tidal wave of data from electronic meters, system monitoring equipment and other technologies.
Built in the 1950s, the client’s treatment plant was becoming costlier to operate – and capital to fund upgrades was limited. With rising pressure for speed and efficiency across their organization, data capture alone wasn't enough. Their team needed technology that not just collected that data, but empowered better decision making, investment planning, efficiency and sustainability.
To move from data harvesting toward data science, our client tapped ASSET360™, Black & Veatch’s data analytics tool, and soon the platform began receiving actionable intelligence across plant operations. Real-time process calculations saved valuable time by replacing cumbersome spreadsheets. Remote monitoring by Black & Veatch process engineers provided added confidence and support for their decision-making processes. Initial results were so compelling, ASSET360 was later extended to include two additional wastewater treatment plants and two water treatment plants.
2018 Strategic Directions: Smart Cities & Utilities Report
The 2018 Strategic Directions: Smart Cities & Smart Utilities Report shows that the large majority of respondents believe in the transformational power of data to raise quality of life, though questions persist about affordability and planning. Our data also shows that individual efforts – from “Safe City” initiatives to the greater integration of distributed energy resources and the growing proliferation of electric vehicles – continue to advance. But are these individual efforts one-off projects, or are they part of larger, more integrated plans?
Data’s Power to Transform Our Systems Isn't Limited to Water
Global infrastructure leaders understand that digital systems are smarter systems. Just as smartphones and intelligent devices reshape our view of connectivity, the power of data to raise performance changes our understanding of critical infrastructure, how we manage operational maintenance, think about security and plan for future resilience.
Edge computing, data centers, metering and sensoring technologies across the energy, telecommunications and transportation sectors are pushing the Internet of Things (IoT) deeper into our systems and creating endless volumes of information. That data needs corresponding software applications to harness it, visualize it and serve it up in ways that inform and improve decision-making.
Moving to the digital future across power, water and telecommunications will test our collective comfort, because it raises real questions: Will this reliance on automation and data override human intuition and control? Can we protect our systems against hackers? How do we convince customers that the payoffs are worth the investment? After all, projects – now more than ever -- must be hard-wired to performance and the bottom line.
Data performs because it informs. It equips plant operators and project managers with keen insights about their systems. It predicts customer behavior, enhances safety and warns us about equipment failure. Putting that information to work requires an organizational decision to embrace data, then finding an experienced and trusted partner to help you put that information to work.
Data for data’s sake is an opportunity lost. It’s what we do with that information that will drive the future of power, water, telecommunication and transportation.
Smart Cities Case Study: Chula Vista, California
The City of Chula Vista, California, has set aggressive goals to become more efficient through intelligent systems that support improved use of energy, water, communications and other critical infrastructure. In this presentation, Gary Halbert, City Manager, City of Chula Vista; and Eric Crockett, Director, City of Chula Vista, explain how Chula Vista is creating a Smart City Roadmap that will move plans from paper to progress. The important steps they're taking can apply to other Smart City pursuits.