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Water management for a
Smarter Planet

Miami-Dade county saves USD1 million using water conservation

Informed water management is as essential as water itself

Because water sustains us, water management is as essential as the element itself. As stewards of our cities and of our planet, leaders and citizens are compelled to act. And as individual users of this essential resource, we are compelled to act together.

City leaders act as the “hub” for fostering openness and transparency in data sharing. They bring stakeholders together to manage water resources as natural systems. Government leaders act to develop a policy for water resource management. They develop industry standards for the interoperability of devices—including an increasing number of interconnected, intelligent devices that communicate in a two-way fashion in the Internet of Things environment.

Water resource management is everybody’s business

People around the world communicate about water, too. Social networks give citizens a way to act together to conserve this precious resource. Nature conservancy forms strong bonds in communities large and small, and news travels fast. Officials can instantaneously alert residents of a flood threat, or if the safety of the water supply is compromised.

On a smarter planet, leaders in the energy and utilities industry act to make better use of the data that their organizations possess. They work together to form the “strategic architecture” that can deliver efficiency for wastewater and graywater. They deploy water management solutions through cloud computing to get a clear view of their infrastructure and to achieve an advanced level of situational awareness.

A cloud-based system can combine with big data and analytics to make water management smarter. For example, in the Yarra Valley in Melbourne, Australia, an innovative collaboration brought together local and regional water authorities, businesses and scientists to use analytics to improve the management of its water system, reducing the cost of managing water by 15 percent.

Near-real-time technology for a complex world

When water officials in Thiruvananthapuram, India see spikes or other any changes in usage, the system alerts engineers so that problems can be rectified immediately. Because sensors were installed throughout the water treatment process, water-authority teams can measure turbidity, salinity, conductivity, pH and chlorine levels in the moment. And these sensors combine with mobile technology so that workers can receive alerts through their mobile phones, smart devices or laptops. Teams can respond in near-real-time to get a problem fixed.

The essential nature of water encompasses complexities and nuance. Informed management can address challenges as diverse as flood prediction, food safety and energy security. Water management brings together different perspectives from a worldwide network of practitioners, legislators and decisionmakers to ensure the best future for a continually thirsty world.

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The social side of Smarter Water

Meet the experts

  • Michael Sullivan
    Global Solutions Sales Manager, IBM Smarter Water Management

  • Carey Hidaka
    Smarter Water subject matter expert

  • Eoin Lane
    Chief Architect - Intelligent Transport & Intelligent Water

  • Peter Williams
    Distinguished Engineer - Chief Technology Officer, "Big Green" Innovations

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