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Water and wastewater (W&WW) utilities across the globe are increasingly exploring digital solutions to improve their resilience, and economical and environmental sustainability, which have been impacted by factors like water stress, pollution, and climate change. Digitalization through Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) based smart solutions has emerged as the key solution to tackle various challenges posed by the above factors. Digital transformation (DT) includes the installation and implementation of the following products/solutions: Smart design & engineering, Data collection through IIoT sensors, Smart communication network, Data analytics and Data intelligence. All these are effectively combined to create a smart water grid. Smart analytics platforms are now increasingly being adopted by W&WW utilities for their ability to improve efficiency, comply with regulations, positively impact customer value & service, and improve sustainability of the infrastructure. Circular economy has now become a more achievable goal through IIoT-based DT. Water utilities are now exploring new business models such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), and Equipment-as-a-Service (EaaS) which have faster return on investment (ROI) and allow for an even placement of investment risks which in turn eases the burden on customers.
This study estimates that the smart water grid market will reach $20 billion by 2020 and provides market forecast for key smart solution segments such as the Smart NRW leak management solution market, Smart water meters market and Smart online water sensors market, all of which form the core of smart solutions. The study aims to simplify concepts such as IIoT and their applicability as a DT tool in the W&WW industry.
This research presents key challenges faced by W&WW utilities, the W&WW network, customer demand management, and W&WW treatment facilities and highlights how IIoT-based smart solutions could be used to tackle these key challenges. It also encompasses cases studies which highlight successful implementation of DT solutions and their benefits. Additionally, the study provides insights on the future of IIoT-based DT solutions, growth opportunities for companies to action, strategies to implement DT, and strategic imperatives crucial for success.
Key Issues Addressed
Author: Paul Hudson
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