How technology can optimise efficiency in water management processes

Julio de la Rosa, ME business development director, ACCIONA, on bringing down the cost of water

Water Management is not only a provided service, it means much more than this: it is an unavoidable human need based in a non-unlimited free resource, supported by United Nations since 2010 and recognising the right to water and sanitation as a Human Right, therefore the supply of a secure and reliable service must be a top priority for governments.

Regarding efficiency, first view should be directed to new technologies and R+D+i investment needed to allow a quantitative step forward for efficiency in terms of resources consumed for water production.  We cannot also forget that in arid regions, it is very important to increase efficiency in transportation in order to reduce non-revenue water and efficiency in segregating water standards based in final use.

Consumers need to know the real cost of water supply and treatment as a measure to give water its real value; a different topic is how it is invoiced and paid where resources available for the population need to be considered, being a solution a progressive increase of cost based in individual income level rewarding optimization of consumption.

Reduce the environmental impact of water production and increase sewage treatment is necessary for Public Water Authorities, as it is a way of preserving our natural resources and source of wealth for population. Keeping in mind this context, different supporting programs are implementing the latest technologies with less resources consumption and waste generation. Acciona Agua is now applying in the plants Internet of the Things and Big Data, both potable and sewage treatment and water services under construction or operation to know what is exactly happening in every single point of the plant or network. After this, we need a quick decision making process in order to take the best solution rapidly with the help of another promising technology: the Artificial Intelligence.

In the near future, it is crucial to support sewage regeneration technologies to change our view of sewage from waste to a valuable resource. As stated above, now in the market we have different technologies to do so at a competitive cost. To boost safe use of reuse water will allow us to reduce the millions of MLD of sewage poured today into the sea and oceans with no further use and polluting them. Aquifer recharge with reuse water is a reality nowadays, enabling a sustainable groundwater management and regeneration as an economically feasible.


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