Why an integrated approach is the key to unlocking value in urban water management

Today, cities all over the world are dealing with a range of global pressures such as rapid urban growth, severe climate changes and aging infrastructure to provide safe and resilient water supply, collect sewage, secure a minimum spill of untreated water and reduce risks of flooding. Because of these challenges, cities experience difficulties in finding efficient and sustainable ways to manage water. Continue reading “Why an integrated approach is the key to unlocking value in urban water management”

Water distribution: How new technologies can help preserve and improve drinking water quality

As water is seen as one of the world’s most precious resources, providing enough water with appropriate quality and quantity may be considered as one of the most important challenges in human history.

The world is, as we speak, experiencing serious growth in urban population. This, together with water scarcity and shortage due to climate changes, are creating massive challenges for urban water management. Continue reading “Water distribution: How new technologies can help preserve and improve drinking water quality”

How Cloud solutions can help cities predict flash floods more accurately

Heavy rainfall and floods impose considerable consequences to communities and infrastructure, resulting in death or injury, affecting livelihood, damaging roads, property, water networks and more.

According to a United Nations report, in the ten years from 1995 to 2015, floods accounted for 43% of all documented natural disasters, affecting 2.3 billion people, killing 157,000 and causing US$662 billion in damage. The UNESCO World Development Report further states that climate change, increasing population, loss of wetlands and rising sea levels are expected put 2 billion people at risk of flood disasters by 2050. Continue reading “How Cloud solutions can help cities predict flash floods more accurately”

4 tips to kickstart your customer co-creation initiative

As times and needs evolve, the role of the consumer has changed. From being isolated, they are now connected; from being unaware, they are now informed. And from being passive in the creation process, they are now participating more actively than ever before. 

According to professors Prahalad and Venkatram Ramaswamy in their journal article ‘Co‐creating unique value with customers’, co-creation is ‘the joint creation of value by the company and the customer; allowing the customer to co-construct the service experience to suit their context’.   Continue reading “4 tips to kickstart your customer co-creation initiative”

Ways to permanently reduce non-revenue water levels

High leakage levels, inefficient pipe network maintenance, customer complaints and financial losses are some of the top challenges of water utilities. Many of these troubles can be effectively countered – if you know how to nip the problem at the bud by dealing with the issue of non-revenue water (NRW).

NRW is water that has been produced but cannot be billed. The loss can be the result of leakage or overflow (sometimes referred to as physical losses), theft of water or inaccurate metering (also known as apparent losses), or free use (for example, for firefighting). Calculations suggest that more than US$14 billion is lost every year by water utilities around the world due to NRW. The World Bank recommends that NRW should be less than 25% of the total water produced, while in many countries NRW is up to 60%. High levels of NRW are detrimental to the financial viability of water utilities and pose an extra burden on paying customers. Continue reading “Ways to permanently reduce non-revenue water levels”

Myth or Fact? The concept of ‘Working with Nature’ for maritime infrastructure projects

Most maritime infrastructure projects are required to undergo vigorous environmental and cultural or social impact assessments before being given the green light to be implemented. These evaluations look out for evidence demonstrating avoidance, minimisation or mitigation of impacts in the preparation, actual construction and post-construction phases.

We ask Juan C. Savioli, Head of the Coastal and Estuarine Department in our office in Malaysia, six questions on ‘Working with Nature’ and whether it is possible to integrate this concept into marine infrastructure designs. Continue reading “Myth or Fact? The concept of ‘Working with Nature’ for maritime infrastructure projects”

Best practices for successful coastal flooding adaptation

Global warming, rising sea levels and rapidly growing cities are placing immense pressure on coastal cities, towns and subsistence communities. The U.S. Population Reference Bureau estimates that almost 6 billion people will be living within 200 kilometres of a coastline by 2025 – close to double the number in 2003. Population growth – along with sea level rise compounded by storm surges and increased rainfall intensity due to climate change – are the key reasons for the increase in coastal flooding and the degradation of our coastal regions and ecosystems today. Continue reading “Best practices for successful coastal flooding adaptation”

Agent-based modelling: Dynamic mapping of the movements of marine life

It is without question that the effects of human-derived underwater noise on marine life are receiving increased attention from scientists, regulators and the public. One of the core issues is the displacement of marine life from important areas due to behavioural responses to underwater noise from shipping, airguns and pile driving. Another issue is the impairment of hearing, which can be temporary (temporary threshold shift, TTS) or permanent (permanent threshold shift, PTS). Both effects can, at least in theory, lead to population-wide impacts to marine species. Continue reading “Agent-based modelling: Dynamic mapping of the movements of marine life”

Oil spill trajectories in emergency situations: from nerdy models to an easy online service

It is a well-known fact that accidental oil spills can cause significant negative impacts on the environment – affecting ecosystems, bringing distress to marine life, damaging waterways, ruining infrastructure and economy, to name a few.

The 2010 Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico – often cited as the worst environmental disaster in the United States – saw up to 800,000 bird mortalities and approximately 60% decline in the number of laughing gulls along the Gulf coast between 2010 and 2013. Demands are therefore being placed on oil companies, service providers and environmental authorities to be prepared to take proper and efficient action, should an accident occur. Continue reading “Oil spill trajectories in emergency situations: from nerdy models to an easy online service”

The Digital Twin: What is it and how can it benefit the Water Sector?

Defining its role in providing real customer value

The concept of the Digital Twin is increasingly entering the Water Sector as an innovation driver. More than ever, its role in bringing value to operators is being highlighted by industry professionals around the world.

What is a Digital Twin?

A Digital Twin is a computer model that virtually reflects and simulates a real object, its environment and interaction, providing a picture as accurate as possible of how that object behaves in real time.

This could be a water treatment plant, where the Digital Twin includes process models to simulate the treatment steps, physical assets (e.g. pumps) represented in CAD, and performance models to optimise resources (e.g. energy usage).

Continue reading “The Digital Twin: What is it and how can it benefit the Water Sector?”