Business drivers for adopting smart water technology.

Sander Smit, Mireia Tutusaus, Thomas Messervey, Edward Curry, Zeno D'Andrea

Thursday 2 july 2015

14:50 - 15:05h at North America (level 0)

Themes: (T) Special session, (ST) FP7 ICT and water

Parallel session: 12I. Special session: FP7 ICT and water

Waternomics is an EU funded research project to reduce the water consumption of municipalities, corporations and domestic users by providing water managers and consumers alike with timely and actionable information about water usage and water availability. These decision support services are enabled by smart water technology, which makes possible the detailed and real-time measurement of water flows and usage, analysis of water consumption patterns and recommendations on how to increase water efficiency in a holistic context that includes governance, standards and local area policies and environmental conditions. Trends toward such services and concepts are following those that have been adopted in the energy sector (an until now more expensive resource) and from this sector lessons can be learned. Understanding the social, economic and environmental drivers for introducing smart water technologies helps in shaping the architecture of a water information system. This paper presents the results of workshops, interviews and desk research conducted on various stakeholders in Ireland, Italy, Greece and the Netherlands as well as benchmarking against programs globally. Topics discussed are the role of water within an organisation, municipality or home, the drivers for adopting water conservation technologies, and the impact of a water information platform on the business models or economic viewpoint of the various stakeholders. From the research, it was seen that the ways in which water is managed varies hugely across stakeholder types, industry sectors and between organisations operating in the same domain. Differences in water management were found in scope of water management, levels of monitoring, availability of data, business models and innovation strategies. It was also found that the scope of water management ranges from a single organisation only focussing on legal compliance to improving water efficiency across a given value chain. Drivers for adopting smart water technology ranged from reducing operational costs and increasing operational efficiency to reducing business risk and contributing to water conservation programs. From the research, the Waternomics water information system will be designed, developed and validated in corporate, municipal and domestic pilot use cases.