FuturENVIRO #Water Abril - April2019 - page 19

Gestión y tratamiento de agua |
Water management and treatment
Futur
Enviro
|
Abril
April
2019
www.
futurenviro
.es
19
El sector del agua tiene la gran ventaja de poder usar lecciones
aprendidas de otros, como los del gas y electricidad, para acometer
su proceso de transformación digital y beneficiarse de las mejores
prácticas establecidas, que abarcan desde la implementación de
medidores inteligentes hasta el incremento de beneficios.
Los expertos prevén que durante la próxima década todos los servi-
cios públicos evolucionarán desde el mantenimiento basado en el
tiempo al establecido en la condición, por lo que, al adoptar la ca-
pacidad de comprender la edad efectiva de los activos y pronosticar
posibles fallos, los servicios públicos serán capaces de identificar y
programar mejoras masivas en las actividades de mantenimiento
de extensión de vida, así como planear estratégicamente su reem-
plazo a largo plazo.
Otra área de progreso habilitada será la inteligencia artificial y la
realidad aumentada. La capacidad de procesar imágenes captura-
das durante un proceso de inspección normal permite la identifi-
cación rápida de anomalías y defectos al hacer coincidir patrones
con imágenes que se analizaron y clasificaron previamente. Eso nos
permitirá identificar cientos o miles de modelos de defectos y crear
otros que utilicen tecnologías cognitivas que han sido capacitadas
por expertos humanos.
Es también realmente interesante la aplicación de las tecnologías
digitales en la detección de fugas, gestión de la calidad del agua y
evaluación de activos.
Estamos en una posición más privilegiada para comprender los re-
quisitos de conservación en tiempos de sequía gracias a modelos
precisos de modelado de recursos de aguas subterráneas o hábitos
de conservación.
Por último, y no menos importante, conviene destacar la contribu-
ción de la tecnología para prevenir o paliar los efectos de los de-
The water sector has the great advantage of being in a position
to implement lessons learnt by other sectors, such as gas and
electricity, in the process of digital transformation, thereby
reaping the benefits of the best practices that have been
established, which range from the use of smart meters to
increasing profits.
Experts envisage that over the next decade, all public services
will evolve from time-based maintenance to condition-based
maintenance. Thus, by adopting the capacity to understand
the effective age of assets and forecast possible failures, public
services will be able to identify and programme massive
improvements in maintenance activities to extend service life as
well as strategic planning of asset replacement in the long term.
Another area of progress will be artificial intelligence and
augmented reality. The capacity to process images taken during
normal inspection operations will enable rapid identification
of anomalies and faults by combining patterns with previously
analysed and classified images. This will enable us to identify
hundreds or thousands of fault models and to create others that
use cognitive technologies trained by human experts.
Also of great interest is the application of digital technologies to
leak detection, water quality management and asset evaluation.
We are now in a more privileged position to understand
conservation requirements in times of drought, thanks to precise
modelling of groundwater and conservation habits.
Last, but not least, we must highlight the contribution of
technology to the prevention and mitigation of the effects of
both natural disasters and those caused by human activity, which
cost governments an average of over 300 billion USD per annum
worldwide.
Nonetheless, there is a great barrier to the
adoption of digital technologies in the water
sector and this is the paradox of the real value
of water. The point is that, although water is
essential for life, its value in the marketplace
is not appreciated. In other words, water is
considered to be a basic product and, in many
places, a “right”.
For this reason, vital investment decisions
are not financed year after year. This leads
to aging infrastructure, while new ideas on
digitisation are seen as a luxury.
Moreover, the fragmented nature of the public
water service value chain puts constraints on
funding and strangles business cases. This is
partly due to regulations that are traditionally
barriers to innovation. The fact is that
there is still resistance to change, although
stakeholders, including regulators, public
EL RETO DE LA GESTIÓN DIGITAL
DEL AGUA
Las tecnologías como el Internet de las cosas (IoT), el análisis
de datos, la computación en la nube, la inteligencia artificial,
la realidad aumentada y el blockchain brindan nuevas capaci-
dades para ayudar a las utilities de agua a extender la vida útil
de sus activos, reducir fugas, evitar ataques y otras anomalías
en la red de distribución, mejorar la calidad y niveles de servi-
cio, y promover eficiencias operacionales.
THE CHALLENGE OF DIGITAL
WATER MANAGEMENT
Technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), data
analysis, cloud computing, artificial intelligence,
augmented reality and blockchain provide water
utilities with new capacities to extend asset life, reduce
leaks, avoid attacks and other anomalies in the supply
networks, improve quality and service standards, and
promote operating efficiencies.
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