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IoT (Internet of Things) and Macro Water Management
Published on 11/21/2016 | Use Cases
Water, Precious Water – We don’t need a soothsayer to predict all future societal and economic challenges will emanate from the scarcity of this life-sustaining resource. Having given away my proposal in the post title let me dive straight into what I propose.
1. We identify and harness geological data from the most appropriate sources – including geospatial satellite imagery. This helps map water tables across regions in real time
2. We bring in IoT capabilities to ‘every’ conceivable consumption point – be it tube wells, open wells or even the humble tap at our homes. This would help establish a complex data grid that supplies water management authorities with real-time big data susceptible to analytics
3. The authorities then have an opportunity to quickly redistribute water from sources with a surplus to depleted areas
4. The challenge is not constrained to sourcing and distribution alone – Imagine, if we had the ability to identify ‘every’ potential leakage point across the grid, and presto! We have methods of plugging the leaks no sooner than they happen
5. Again, we could consider applying the above capabilities to build a resilient water supply continuity plan that helps manage water across the good and lean seasons – especially for tropical countries like India where the monsoons are critical for the common man’s ability to lead a normal life, as much as for the farmer who tills the land
6. Water quality monitoring across the grid is a vital capability – one that can only be magnified by the use of IoT-enabled sensors across the grid. This can help catch contamination in a timely manner, thereby saving precious lives as well. This is a dire need for countries with low levels of water quality
7. Also, the urban jungle only promises to grow larger and larger – if urban development and expansion plans can be directly fed into water planning (read ‘big data’ again), we have a potent capability with us to optimize water sourcing and distribution even as cities and towns continue to expand rapidly. As an illustration, if the overall water consumption for a particular locality within a city spikes suddenly, we know for sure the demographics have changed, thereby allowing agile methods of fulfilling the spike in water demand
8. Consider further, the water ‘guzzlers’ such as large industries – if we can IoT-enable entire factory bays, we empower ourselves with a powerful mechanism to capture our water consumption and demand in hitherto inconceivable ways. The ‘water consumption index’ for every single factory equipment or item can be worked out and fed into water management bodies thereby eliminating most of the wastage as well as help plan for sufficient water supply ahead of time
9. Water recycling is an obvious one and it suffices to affirm IoT-enabled water outlets can help maximize recycling possibilities
Natural water bodies including lakes and rivers can be IoT-probe-enabled across their entire course – and everything from volume to quality of water can be monitored across the entire course or breadth of the water bodies
Where do you think are further possibilities of harnessing IoT for water management? I would love to hear from you and welcome your comments. Thanks.
This article was originally posted on LinkedIn.