Artificial Intelligence and Analytics with a robust Water utility management software

Artificial Intelligence and Analytics with a robust Water utility management software

Being a thorough planner, I hate unplanned and sudden issues that crop up out of nowhere. The
water utility consultant and enthusiast in me hates unplanned failures even more. Let me tell you
how. When you talk about the water utility industry, sudden downtime could cause multiple issues –
customer frustration, revenue losses, bad press and, ultimately, increased costs for reactive repairs.
With data, the situation could be so much better. I have seen companies leverage artificial
intelligence (AI) and analytics from a good water utility management software to be more proactive
in terms of understanding issues and fixing them, even before they arise. Let me give some
examples.

The potential of a data lake


An equipment, usage, repair history, quality, health, customer feedback – All of these are important
data points which can give a treasure trove of insights to companies about their assets. Connect
these to other equally important details – CRM, maintenance history and repair costs – and you have
a combination of data points which can simply take your data game to the next level. But then there
is one other important step – categorizing, analyzing, reporting and tracking these data points on an
ongoing basis to ensure that the data comes in handy when required. Building and connecting such
data points is called a data lake. Analytics models can help companies cut the maintenance
operating expenditures by 10-20% every year. We have ourselves seen this while implementing
water utility management softwares for our clients.

Better management of resources across geographies

Every water utility industry has to deal with multiple pumps, mixers, centrifuges and other
equipments on a day-to-day basis. On top of this, some assets could be on ground while others could
be submerged or underground. With artificial intelligence laced with remote sensor technology,
companies can ensure better maintenance, repairs and checks on an ongoing basis. We help
companies use our water utility management software to spot signs of breakdown and wear and
tear proactively, which means better management and lesser costs to fix equipments. It can enable
teams to identify trigger points or look at historical data points across assets and geographies to
understand when mechanical and electrical failures might occur. They can also help track assets’
efficiency, performance and energy usage figures. These translate to simple, direct benefits-
increased efficiency, reduced costs, and better environmental impact.
Decreased OPEX:
Well, the data is out there. Digital water solutions were expected to see an increase of 6.5% in 2020
across the United States and Canada. AI has the potential to save 20-30% of OPEX for companies on
the back of predictive analytics, proactive data reports and a close eye on operations. Emergency
events can be predicted based on data patterns and the accuracy is just getting better as we speak.
My own experience working with water utilities says that now is the right time to look at better
recommendations and alerts for teams to be on the lookout for possible future issues. Companies
can also expect to be more compliant and avoid regulatory penalties owing to different regulations
and rules across sites, since a robust water utility management software should be capable enough
to help keep a track of standards to be followed all through the year.

Increased environmental efficiencies

As the world grapples to meet global energy requirements, the importance of water conservation
cannot be overlooked. Smart systems can help not just provide insights about the quality of the
equipments, but can also provide useful suggestions to conserve water and use it judiciously.
Satellite imagery, temperature, timing, vibration, local climate, and weather conditions, coupled
with the usual usage patterns of consumers can all be combined to provide tips to consumers about
using water smartly. Leaks can be detected too. This means companies don’t need to wait for days
before being alerted by the authorities or the locals to fix leaks reactively.

The power of predictive analytics

Forecasting techniques are the future of water utilities. We, at Bynry, have been working on
enhancing our water utility management software to help businesses finetune their forecasting
techniques. We combine multiple data points to provide predictions around an asset’s health. We
help them understand when maintenance could be scheduled based on when an asset is likely to
break down. This of course delights our customers, but the most exciting part for me is how it helps
us to look at longer lifespans for our customers’ equipments. Another interesting development here
is that we are looking to take the predictive and proactive methods further by shutting down
equipments which might be nearing breakdown without impacting the business.
Having data is important, but making sense of that data is crucial and, often, more complex. With a
good water utility management software, this can become a reality and how! Early indications of
faults, possible failures and looming breakdowns definitely help. So do alerts related to abnormal
consumption data points to fix issues, while additionally helping the planet. I have been working
with clients to ensure that we take the analytics and AI narrative in the water utility space to the
next level. If this is something that interests you, I would be happy to connect. Let us chat and
leverage AI for water utility industry together.