Smart water grid solutions could reduce the cost of water provision in the Middle East by around 30%, according to Francois Dao, vice-president of industry business for the Gulf region at Schneider Electric.
Dao said that the savings could be made by taking a joined up approach to water production.
I think your smart water grid needs to be connected to every stage of the water cycle. From desalination of seawater to distribution of the product, waste water sewage collection and finally sewage treatment, he said.
According to Dao, successful smart water grid solutions are contingent upon three factors. The first of factor is water flow and pressure management, he said. You need to know how the water is flowing through the whole network. Of course we are talking about thousands of kilometres of pipework. We found out that there are some areas where the water remains stagnant for a couple of hours, or even days. Then you have a problem with quality and the build-up of germs.
Smart water grids offer enhanced flow rates by allowing users to control this function remotely.
The second element is the quality of the water itself. There are many systems to monitor the quality of the water in a smart water grid. You need to be able to control all of the chemicals that are required along the network, he said.
The third element is the prevention of water leakage, which Dao says is the key to successful smart water grid management.
We have developed smart water networking layers. You collect all the data, connect it to some software which takes care of the geographical mapping of your city. That means that at any time the system can detect leakage or loss of water and send the data to the field services people. As there is water flowing all the time in the network you are able to shut off the right valves remotely, which saves time and money, he said.
By managing these elements, Dao maintains that the cost of fresh water production can be reduced by around 30%. It can also be used to improve efficiency between utility companies throughout the Middle East.
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